Sep 20, 2017

Erdogan suggests Russia getting more results in Syria than U.S.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Bloomberg's John Micklethwait Wednesday that he has had several conversations with both the U.S. and Russia regarding how to handle the crisis in Syria. Erdogan said nothing came of repeated talks with the U.S. under the Obama administration, but with Russia there have been tangible results.

Why it matters: The U.S. and Russia, which is allied with the Assad regime, have different visions for a post-war Syria.

More from Erdogan at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum

Who has done more to help with Syria, Obama or President Trump? Erdogan dodged, stating that he "will not invest myself in an effort to measure them both." However, he said he has expressed his thoughts to Trump and hopefully they can "unite on these facts and take future steps accordingly" at their meeting in NYC Thursday.

On Assad

  • "The conflict in Syria has been going on for the last several years, and unfortunately the person leading Syria, Assad, has killed many of his own people... it's state-sponsored terror... I have repeatedly warned Assad about this conflict and I have used our friendship as a vessel to warn him but nothing has changed."
On Turkey's weapons deal with Russia, and why it bothers Western allies
  • Erdogan said that while Turkey is a member of NATO, it doesn't have the same access to powerful weapons and systems as other member nations do. And with the violence raging in Syria, the weapons deal with Russia was necessary to protect his country.
  • Erdogan said Turkey has requested drones and missiles for many years from other countries, but has been repeatedly rejected, so "we were forced to take these matters upon ourselves."
Is Russia an ally?
  • Leaders should "increase the number of allies," said Erdogan, adding that this is what he is trying to do in regards to Russia.
  • Relations with Putin: On Monday he will have a phone call with Putin, and next Thursday they will meet for dinner to discuss the problems in Syria.
On EU membership
  • "For the last 54 years we have been lingering at the doorstep of the EU... they say 'there have been countries before you and we still haven't admitted them.' NO! This is a political embargo on Turkey... No country ever suffered from such an approach."

Go deeper

Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill as U.S. coronavirus case count tops 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, as infections in the U.S. topped 100,000 and more cities experience spikes of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus updates: Italy records deadliest day with nearly 1,000 dead

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Italy on Friday reported 969 COVID-19 deaths over a 24-hour period, marking the deadliest single-day for the country since the global outbreak began, according to data from the Health Ministry.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 600,000. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 595,800 — Total deaths: 27,324 — Total recoveries: 131,006.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 103,942 — Total deaths: 1,689 — Total recoveries: 870.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Nearly 92% of cities do not have adequate medical supplies — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.