Obama to talk about Syria with Turkey's Erdogan | world | Hindustan Times
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Obama to talk about Syria with Turkey's Erdogan

world Updated: Sep 16, 2011 21:25 IST

US President Barack Obama will discuss the political crisis in Syria and wider turmoil throughout the Middle East in talks in New York on Tuesday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Obama will meet Erdogan, a key US regional ally, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, deputy US national security advisor Ben Rhodes said on Friday.

"We have a very close, broad, alliance and working relationship with Turkey," Rhodes said adding that Erdogan's government had been a close partner of Washington during the regional political turmoil sparked by the Arab Spring.

"I anticipate the two leaders will talk about events in Syria where we share great concerns with the Turks about the actions of President Assad," Rhodes said.

Turkey has also agreed to host a radar for the reconfigured NATO anti-missile shield in Europe, Rhodes said, adding that the decision was a "very important marker of the alliance between the United States and Turkey."

Obama will also likely address the rift between Turkey and its other key regional ally Israel, over the Israeli commando raid in international waters on a Turkish vessel that was taking aid to the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The United Nations criticized Israel for using "excessive" force in the 2010 raid, which left nine people dead, but upheld Israel's right to impose a naval blockade on Gaza. Israel has refused Turkish demands for an apology.

"We have encouraged Turkey and Israel, close friends of the United States, to bridge their differences," Rhodes said.