Reuters International

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

(reuters_tickers)

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he would have "face to face" talks with the new U.S. administration in May and that Syria and Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric he blames for July's failed coup, were the top bilateral issues.

In an interview with CNN Turk, Erdogan said talks with Washington continued on Gulen, whom Turkey wants to see extradited.

Erdogan said a planned operation to drive Islamic State from their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, and the fate of the Syrian town of Manbij were "very important regional decisions we have to take," and said Turkey was saddened by the U.S. and Russian readiness to work with the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria.

He also said a U.S. and British ban on devices bigger than a cellphone in the cabin on flights from several countries including Turkey had damaged mutual confidence and said he hoped the mistake would be corrected soon.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Nick Tattersall)

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