Thursday, October 10, 2013

US President Barack Obama reportedly confronted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a "difficult meeting" in May about what Washington saw as indiscriminate support for fighters seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

    Thursday, October 10, 2013   No comments

US President Barack Obama reportedly confronted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a "difficult meeting" in May about what Washington saw as indiscriminate support for fighters seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a sign of disagreement between the two NATO allies over how to respond to the crisis in Syria.
Erdoğan met with Obama during a visit to Washington in May, and the two had talks focusing primarily on Syria. The two leaders projected a united front after the talks despite disagreement over how much the US should intervene to end the Syrian crisis. Turkey has pressed the US for a more aggressive stance to bring down the Assad regime while the Obama administration, partly out of concern over radical Islamist groups within the opposition, has refrained from military action or more active support for the opposition.
Behind closed doors, Obama complained about Turkish dealings with the Syrian opposition, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. According to the report, Obama delivered “what US officials describe as an unusually blunt message: The US believed Turkey was letting arms and fighters flow into Syria indiscriminately and sometimes to the wrong rebels, including anti-Western jihadists.”

At the White House meeting, the Turkish side pushed back at the suggestion that they were aiding radicals and sought to enlist the US to aggressively arm the opposition, the report said, citing US officials briefed on the discussions.

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