News / Middle East

Obama, Erdogan Downplay Syria Differences

President Barack Obama (right) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at joint news conference May 16, 2013
President Barack Obama (right) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at joint news conference May 16, 2013
President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan say the U.S. and Turkey are determined to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave to pave the way for a political transition.
 
In a news conference following bilateral talks, both leaders downplayed differences over Syria, underscoring the importance of maintaining pressure on the Assad regime while sustaining Syria's opposition.
 
President Obama recognized Erdogan for being "at the forefront" of efforts to achieve a democratic Syria, and said Turkey will play a key role in coming weeks.
Loading...

"We both agree that Assad needs to go," the president said. "He needs to transfer to a transitional body. That is the only way that we are going to resolve this crisis. We are going to keep working for a Syria that is free from Assad's tyranny, that is intact and inclusive of all ethnic and religious groups and that is the source of stability not extremism, because it is in the profound interests of all our nations, especially Turkey."
 
Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkish and U.S. views "overlap" on Syria, pointing to "full agreement" on the need to end bloodshed and establish a new government, describing key objectives as the departure of Assad, preventing Syria from becoming a base for terrorists, and preventing use of chemical weapons.

Related video report by Kent Klein
Obama, Erdogan: Assad Needs To Goi
X
May 17, 2013 12:40 AM
President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are playing down their disagreements over how to address the ongoing violence in Syria. As VOA’s Kent Klein reports, the two leaders spoke to reporters Thursday after meeting at the White House.
Erdogan then fielded a question about what impact there would be on the Syrian civil war if the U.S. does not step up its involvement.
 
"You are talking about the part of the glass which is empty," he said. "I would like to look at things with the glass half full, instead of half empty. What we would like to see is the sensitivity on the part of the international community with respect to what is going on in Syria. This is what we as Turkey strive for and I do believe the United States is doing the same."
 
When asked if he had presented evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria, he said information has been shared with all countries and the United Nations.
 
President Obama had this response when asked about his "red line" on the use of chemical weapons.
 
"The use of chemical weapons is something that the civilized world has recognized should be out of bounds," Obama said. "As we gather more evidence and work together, my intention is to make sure that we are presenting everything that we know to the international community as an additional reason and an additional mechanism for the international community to put all the pressure they can on the Assad regime."
 
Obama said he preserves the option to take additional steps, both diplomatic and military, saying chemical weapons threaten U.S. security and that of its allies and friends.
 
Thursday's Obama-Erdogan meeting also covered Turkish-Israeli talks to normalize their relations. Erdogan said he plans to visit Gaza and the West Bank in June, describing his upcoming trip as something that will help Palestinian unity.
 
On the topic of Israel-Palestinian peace efforts, and Iran, Obama said both world leaders agreed it is critical that Iran not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon and potentially trigger a regional arms race.

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Alzaripov from: Russian Federation
May 18, 2013 1:03 PM
Certainly, B.Assad and his regime can and should be swept away by the pressure of the international community.
But the truble is, the evil continually takes a different form and again triumphs.
Perhaps it needs these vilains somehow to re-educate than to allow new ones in their place could do even greater evil.

by: Hatem Zaki from: Egypt
May 17, 2013 6:22 PM
In Egypt , Turkey for the Majority is an attractive model for the Modern Islam .at the beginning of MB ruling they were sure that the Egyptian MB are as modern as the Turkish counterpart .but the mask dropped day after day .Egyptians found out how the MB are reactionaries.

by: howard from: Ca
May 17, 2013 10:00 AM
Assad is a good man. The only problem is he will not cooperate the psychopaths trying to take over the world. In a healthy society, his actions would be admirable, but here in the USA many things are things are in a state of decay, and therefore he is looked at like a villain. Assad is a hero and a man of courage in my book.
In Response

by: friedich from: america
May 17, 2013 12:02 PM
Maybe - but, Obozo is a criminal. A congenital liar, traitor, socialist.
In Response

by: Nicholas from: Las Vegas
May 17, 2013 10:47 AM
Assad is wonderful and he'll go to heaven. And so will his sheep, now that they are arming themselves to the teeth and howling God is Great! They'll keep killing each other, for that is what brothers in religion do. Oh, how I wish the pestilence of religion to evaporate and leave mankind to live in peace.

by: gerald muldoon from: northern ireland
May 17, 2013 7:17 AM
Realy, why should Americans worry who rules Syria The Assad family at least have kept the lid on mass murder for a long number of years just as Saddam did in Iraq and Gadaffi in Libya and the list goes on. Why really is America, which during my younger days was an example to the rest of the world always anxious about countries that pose no threat to thier national security whatsoever chewing at the bit to involve themselves.

China, which is set to become the no 1 economy gets on with the business of running their country. Unfortunaly the USA is pictured here and in the rest of the world as a nation with a large military which ignites unrest in wherever under the guise of democracy must be imposed even if it was never a tradition in that region Are Egypt Libya and Iraq places you would go to for your holidays?

by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
May 17, 2013 1:02 AM
West is MASTER in creating problemsssssssssssssss. They cannot solve problems or rather this is not their duty to solve problem. We have very good experience of TALIBAN. Who are the MAIN SUPPORTERS for money and weapons every body knows. Now what dirty game they are playing in the name of ISLAM in Pakistan. Their main target in Syria just to CHANGE the regime and bring puppet regime who can receive dictation without any hesitation. How much suffering for common Syrians, no body can imagine. AL QAIDA in the name of ISLAM eating human parts of dead soldier in front of camera without any shame. So just imagine if they can eat human parts in front of camera without shame, so what is their activities behind cameras. If any body is thinking that Syrians will have better life than Assad, i think this is good dream which will never be in real life.

by: Alex from: USA
May 17, 2013 1:02 AM
Erdogan is the enemy of the USA and West like his Iranian friend Ahmadinejad. He is an ISLAMIC Fox who needs all new American technology and Arms (like Patriots). He also wants to join EU (there are already a lot of Turks there) just to take advantage and to expand fundamental Islam through the world.

So, do the Americans or West need this kind of friend? He wants to visit Gaza and supporting Hamas, which is recognized by US and EU as the terrorist organization. This is another provocation planning by Erdogan.

Turkey under Erdogan is a different country (like Iran) and it must be repelled out from the NATO- ASAP!

by: asd from: ChiIL
May 16, 2013 11:42 PM
israel is at war with syria as long as I remember.

This is another example how our tax money go for israel war. perhaps i schould look if there is to boycott in my shopping cart.

Perhaps boron from dead sea couse cresines in the near asia region.

sure Obama is 10e10 times better, Romney will be theater disaster.

by: charlie from: california
May 16, 2013 2:41 PM
Suppose the Confederacy had wanted to conquer the North, not secede. Would the way to end the violence be to keep telling the feds to get rid of Lincoln and bring a coalition gov to power? No,the way to end the war is to let it grind to its end or to send enough aid to one side to end it. I think this is less about helping Syrians than it is about an opportunity for the West to end the Syrian-Iran connection. All it is doing is pro-longiing the war. Right now the West is doing everything it can just to keep the rebels fighting

by: demaz from: America
May 16, 2013 2:34 PM
While the Syria issue is topical and seems to be the most important item according to current media headlines, the VoA has failed to report on other important issues between the two countries. For example, did the two leaders discuss the 40 year old invasion by Turkey of Cyprus and the occupying forces there; did they discuss the tension between two NATO countries (Turkey and Greece) regarding valuable oil and gas deposits in the Aegean; and what about the religious freedom of Christians in Turkey (the Orthodox seminary in Halki and the recent plot to assassinate the Orthodox Patriarch)? VoA cannot duck its responsibilities by reporting on headlines news. After all, it is not CNN.
In Response

by: Ferdi from: Turkey
May 17, 2013 6:16 AM
You know nothing about the Cyprus issue. Please first make your own homework before make a comment. What do you think, why Turkey has placed forces there? It was not an invasion, but saving lives...
In Response

by: charlie from: California
May 16, 2013 6:04 PM
Good point. The Turks shouldn't even be in Cyprus. Cyprus should be part of Greece.

by: Sam from: Turkiye
May 16, 2013 2:10 PM
Turkish people don't want war against any country on the contrary of Erdogan.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs