News / Europe

Obama, Turkish PM to Discuss Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement from the East Room of the White House in Washington, May 15, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement from the East Room of the White House in Washington, May 15, 2013.
President Barack Obama welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House on Thursday for talks on the situation in Syria and other regional security and bilateral issues.

Obama's relationship with Erdogan is among the closest he has with any world leader.   

They speak frequently on the phone.  Syria has been a key topic as the death toll there continues to mount.  

Turkey has played a key role in the provision of non-lethal aid and political support for Syria's rebels.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
x
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
In a recent NBC News interview, Erdogan urged the United States to take more responsibility to end fighting in Syria.  He also discussed evidence of chemical weapons use, saying Obama's "red line" was crossed long ago.

Soner Cagaptay, with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says Ankara has major worries about a "weak and divided" Syria, which it is feared could become like Somalia.

"I think Turkey is feeling the heat of the Syria crisis and is here to ask for assistance from the U.S. to help depose the Assad regime and if not to shield itself off from the fallout of the Syria crisis," said Cagaptay.  "Obviously [at] the White House there is very little appetite in Washington to send troops or put boots on the ground in Syria, so these two leaders will disagree on what to do although they both agree the Assad regime should go."

On the eve of the talks, press secretary Jay Carney was asked about pressure from Erdogan on President Obama to take a stronger stance on Syria.

Carney stuck to the standard White House description of current U.S. policy, saying the U.S. would work with Turkey and other partners to bring about a political transition in Syria.

"Ways that we can, working together and with our partners, bring about the transition that is so essential in Syria, including the efforts that are under way to revitalize the Geneva Framework for a political transition -- we've been working with the Russians on that matter as well as others -- and including the ways that we are working to provide assistance to the opposition and to the Syrian people," said Carney.

Cagaptay says that despite differences in approach, both men seek the same objectives.

"There are divergences in tactics between the two leaders though I should emphasize that in the end they both want the same thing, they want Assad to go, the question is Turkey wants it faster than the U.S. is willing to commit [to]," he added.

Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama will hold a joint news conference after their Oval Office talks.

Later, the White House says Obama will host a working dinner with the Turkish leader.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Prof. Hollenbrook from: USA
May 16, 2013 9:07 AM
hey Obama, this is worse than bowing to the Queen of Saudi Arabia... Erdogan is Muslim terrorist... Obama, you may as well run around yelling AllahUakbar...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More