Turkish PM discusses Iraq-Syria crisis with Obama
BRISBANE - Anadolu AgencyTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu discussed the crisis in Syria and Iraq with U.S. President Barack Obama on Nov. 15, according to the Turkish Prime Ministry.
On the sidelines of the ninth meeting of the 2014 G-20 summit in Australia's eastern coastal city of Brisbane, Davutoğlu and Obama discussed the recent developments in Syria and Iraq in view of the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
Davutoğlu welcomed, in his Nov. 14 remarks in Brisbane, media reports that Obama was asking his advisers to review their strategy on Syria. CNN reported on Nov. 13 that Obama had called for the review after realizing that the ISIL could not be defeated unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was toppled. The report was later denied by two high-ranking officials of the U.S. administration.
The Turkish premier stressed that Turkey has long argued that an integrated strategy was needed to solve the Syrian crisis rather than a "point and selective strategy" like the airstrikes being conducted by the U.S.-led coalition in the Syrian town of Kobane, and throughout Syria and Iraq.
The U.S.-led international coalition, which includes France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, has been pounding ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria.
Davutoğlu also thanked Obama for his speech in Myanmar on Nov. 13 where he called on the country's leaders to scrap a controversial plan that aims to force the minority Rohingya Muslims to identify as Bengalis - a term favored by the government because it implies the group are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The Myanmar government's Rakhine State Action Plan offers the chance of citizenship to roughly 1 million Rohingya Muslims - one of the most persecuted minorities in the world according to the United Nations. But they will only be eligible if they identify themselves as "Bengali," despite evidence they have lived in Myanmar for generations.
Obama urged the government to draw up a new plan to allow Rohingya Muslims to become citizens.
According to the Turkish Prime Ministry, Davutoğlu also had meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with South Korean and Indonesian leaders.