News / Middle East

Turkish PM to Press US on Syria

President Barack Obama, right, meets with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, May 16, 2013, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama, right, meets with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, May 16, 2013, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.
VOA News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to press the United States to take a more active role in response to the situation in Syria as he meets Thursday with President Barack Obama at the White House.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the leaders will discuss ways to bring an "essential" transition to Syria.  Those include aid to the Syrian people and to rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, as well as support for a proposed peace conference that could take place next month in Geneva.

He said Obama remains committed to the goal of a Syria without Assad that reflects the will and rights of its people.

A Turkish minister accompanying Erdogan in Washington said Ankara believes stopping the Assad government from indiscriminate killing of its own people is a priority.

Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis said the United States and Turkey can achieve that goal only by persuading all members of the U.N. Security Council to take action.

"I think President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan will be able to discuss new challenges and opportunities to convince the international community in terms of taking the necessary measures to stop the bloody Assad regime," Bagis said.

Watch press conference LIVE

Erdogan will also meet Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The talks come less than a week after two car bombs exploded in a Turkish town near the Syrian border, killing 51 people in an attack Turkey blamed on Syria.

During the more than two-year crisis in Syria, Turkey has given shelter to Syrian rebels as well as thousands of refugees.

U.N. General Assembly's Latest Syria Resolution

-Adopted by vote of 107 to 12, with 59 abstentions
-Calls for rapid progress on a political transition
-Expresses outrage at 'rapidly increasing death toll'
-Condemns Syrian government's use of heavy weapons
-Condemns the widespread and systematic violations of human rights in Syria
-Requests international community provide urgent funds to help countries hosting displaced Syrians
-Calls for report on situation of internally displaced persons in Syria
Kerry said Wednesday the United States and Russia are "very hopeful" that plans to hold peace talks in June are progressing. 

He said the peace drive is based a proposal announced last year for the creation of a transitional government in Syria "with full executive authority by mutual consent," ambiguous wording which deliberately leaves President Bashar al-Assad's future role unclear.

Also Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn the Syrian government's "escalation" of the country's war and backed the role of the opposition Syrian National Coalition as party to a potential political transition.

The non-binding resolution, drafted by Qatar, passed with 107 votes in favor, 12 against and 59 abstentions -- an outcome with less support than a similar declaration issued by the General Assembly last year.

The resolution demands that Syria give a United Nations team free access to investigate alleged uses of chemical weapons. That team - authorized by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - is ready to deploy, but Syria has not allowed it into the country.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Yasin Turker from: USA
May 16, 2013 1:57 PM
Turkish Prim Minister
First he has to stop his own country's bloody mess. One of the world's most dangerous terrorist, which killed more than 40,000 innocent babies, people, and soldiers, Abdullah Ocalan who is PKK is being forgiven and is dealing with them secretly. How can you defend terrorists and lie to your own people?! Shame on Time Magazine for putting this man on the cover of its magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in the world! Only the White House knows about Ocalan, not the American people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs