>> Smiles for the camera, but it's a relationship that's strained. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson on a visit to Turkey, in a bid to rescue a partnership that's reached a crisis point.>> We recognize the legitimate right of Turkey to secure its borders. We take it seriously when our NATO ally Turkey says it has security concerns.
>> But Turkey is infuriated by US support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as terrorists. While Washington arms them in the fight against Islamic State, Turkey last month launched an assault to sweep the YPG away from its southern border.>>
> Ankara now proposing a joint deployment with the US in Syria if the Kurdish militia vacate the areas it controls in the north.
On this trip, Tillerson also met with President Erdogan the night before for more than three hours of talks, the US recognizing its relationship too important to neglect. This is Reuters Turkey correspondent David Dolan.>> Certainly Turkey's geographic location, its importance in the fight against Islamic State in the region.
Its growing trade and economic prowess, these are all things to keep in mind for the United States as well as the fact that it is a major part of the NATO military alliance. It has NATO's second largest army. I don't think the US can easily discount the importance of Turkey and a Turkey that is looking increasingly towards Russia, that is increasingly looking towards Iran is not something that Washington wants to see now.
>> Tillerson also touching on other areas of tension, calling on Turkey to release a US pastor and other Americans detained in the country following the failed coup in 2016.>> We continue to have serious concerns about the detention of local employees of our mission in Turkey. And about cases against US citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency.
>> With much to still be resolved, Turkey's Prime Minister said the two countries had created a process for further talks, and would meet again by mid March.