Erdoğan, Obama discuss Syria, Iran at Seoul meeting
US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after a bilateral meeting ahead of the nuclear security summit in Seoul on March 25, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama had a meeting at a hotel in Seoul ahead of an international nuclear meeting.
The two leaders met prior to the start of the summit at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. The two leaders held a joint press conference after their nearly one-and-a-half-hour-long meeting. Obama said the political developments in Syria dominated the agenda of the meeting. He said they are "very much in agreement" that transition to legitimate government in Syria is needed, adding that Erdoğan is an "outstanding" partner.
Erdogan said he's pleased his and Obama's views were in general overlap on the subject of Syria.
“As people with a conscience, we cannot remain spectators and have to do something [about Syria] via international law,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said his Iran visit this week will be about Syria and that he discussed this with Obama along with developments in Iraq.
“It was a very productive meeting,” Erdoğan said. He said measures against attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in southeast Turkey were also discussed and US assistance in Turkey's counterterrorism efforts pleases Turkey. “We are particularly delighted to see the US to stand by Turkey in its fight against the PKK. Our fight will continue,” he said.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Ömer Çelik, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar accompanied Erdoğan during the meeting.
Erdoğan headed to Seoul on Friday evening in order to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit to be held on March 26-27. The Seoul Nuclear Summit, which will be attended by roughly 60 national representatives from Europe, Asia and the US, aims to facilitate detailed discussions on how international cooperation can be used to mitigate nuclear threats.