“We have a great friendship, as countries and I think we’re right now as close as we’ve ever been,” Trump said, according to pool reports. His comments come a day after delivering his first address before the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump went on to say that Erdogan is “running a very difficult part of the world. He has evolved very strongly, and frankly he’s getting very high marks.”

Erdogan has been the subject of international condemnation after implementing a crackdown on dissidents in Turkey following a failed coup attempt in the summer of 2016.The Turkish president reciprocated Trump’s sentiments, calling his counterpart “my dear friend Donald,” according to the pool report.

Nine protesters were injured in a clash with Erdogan’s bodyguards outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington in May, after the Turkish president met with Trump to discuss. fighting terror groups in the Middle East.