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Obama calls Erdogan on Syria, Libya

WASHINGTON - Agence France Presse | 6/21/2011 12:00:00 AM |

US President called Turkish Prime Minister for the second time in six days to discuss Syria’s political crackdown.

US President Barack Obama called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the second time in six days to discuss Syria’s political crackdown and the effort to oust Libya’s Moamer Qadhafi.

“The leaders agreed that the Syrian government must end the use of violence now and promptly enact meaningful reforms that respect the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people,” a White House statement said.

Erdogan has traditionally had good ties with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, but had been urging him to halt a fierce crackdown on protests which have erupted across his country.

More than 10,000 Syrians are sheltering from the unrest in camps in neighboring Turkey, while thousands more are in a no-man’s land, hesitating to cross the border.

According to Agence France Presse, Erdogan and Obama also discussed the situation in Libya, after White House spokesman Jay Carney predicted on Monday that Moamer Qadhafi’s days as leader were “numbered.”

The President and Prime Minister also agreed that it is important to maintain international pressure on Qadhafi in order to transition to a new government that will reflect the will of the Libyan people.”

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of reaching a comprehensive Middle East peace deal, as European and US efforts continue to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama last spoke to Erdogan on June 14, after he called to congratulate him on his election victory.

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