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Erdoğan to hold talks with Obama in NY

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News | 9/14/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet in New York next week, with Iraq expected to be high on their agenda, a senior Turkish official said Wednesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet in New York next week, with Iraq expected to be high on their agenda, a senior Turkish official said Wednesday.

The meeting, which will occur on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, was requested by Washington and is likely to be a “lengthy” one, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said on CNNTürk. He added that Turkey’s efforts to curb Kurdish militants based in northern Iraq and possible complications in Iraq in the wake of the U.S. military’s looming pullout would be discussed in detail.

Atalay said there was “nothing more natural” than for Turkey to assume a more active role in neighboring Iraq after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“We may have some demands from the United States as they are pulling out, and they may have assessments concerning Turkey,” the minister said, adding that Ankara had no plans “at the moment” to set up a buffer zone inside northern Iraq to thwart the infiltration of members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Erdoğan and Obama are also likely to discuss the simmering crisis between Turkey and Israel, the unrest in the Arab world and a Palestinian plan to seek statehood recognition at the U.N. General Assembly.

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