ANKARA / WASHINGTON
U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Daily News Photo, Selahattin Sönmez
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
and U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone Aug. 7 to discuss developments in Syria and Egypt.
“Prime Minister Erdoğan and U.S. President Obama stressed the need to support the Syrian opposition, embracing all segments of the Syrian society and acting jointly against [the Bashar] al-Assad regime forces,” a written statement from the Prime Ministry’s office said.
During the course of the call, requested by Erdoğan, the two “discussed the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive” opposition, the White House said in a separate statement.
Syrian rebels suffered a huge blow on Aug. 7 with 62 of them reported killed in an ambush, as Obama announced Washington would be providing an additional $195 million in food and other humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.
Erdoğan and Obama also expressed concern about the situation in Egypt, where diplomatic attempts to broker a negotiated settlement in the wake of the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi have made no headway. Egypt’s government has vowed to remove Islamist protest camps, sparking fears of violence.
“The president and prime minister expressed concern about the situation in Egypt and a shared commitment to supporting a democratic and inclusive way forward,” the White House statement said. “The two leaders agreed to have their teams continue to coordinate closely to promote our shared interests.” Obama also gave his best wishes to Erdoğan and the Turkish people on the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.