Turkish President Gül set to meet Biden, Rouhani in New York

Turkish President Gül set to meet Biden, Rouhani in New York

Turkish President Gül set to meet Biden, Rouhani in New York

Turkish President Abdullah Gül will address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept.24. AA photo

Turkey will have a lot riding on next week’s U.N. General Assembly meeting, as the forum will provide Turkey an opportunity to convince allies that Syria’s war requires a more comprehensive strategy and that merely dismantling Damascus’ chemical weapons is unlikely to end the bloodshed.

Turkey will be represented at the United Nations by a high-level delegation led by President Abdullah Gül and will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and diplomats that will depart for New York on Sept. 21.

Gül, who will address the General Assembly on Sept. 24 after Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and U.S. President Barack Obama, will have two important meetings on Sept. 25 with Vice President Joe Biden and Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani. The Gül-Rouhani meeting will be the highest-level encounter between Turkish and Iranian officials since Rouhani won June elections.

Gül will attend a reception to be held by Obama and a lunch put on by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the General Assembly. In addition, Gül is expected to conduct more bilateral meetings in New York but there is no confirmed meeting yet.

Davutoğlu will also hold meetings with his counterparts, with the Syrian crisis expected to be at the core of his agenda. With expectations that the deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal will be discussed in New York with the participation of key countries, Turkey wants to use the opportunity to conduct a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People and its core group.

Both Gül and Davutoğlu are planning to explain to their counterparts that the crisis in Syria requires a more comprehensive strategy and commitment, although Turkey welcomes every effort that would remove weapons of mass destruction from the region.

Apart from Syria-oriented talks, Gül will address forums to be organized by the U.N. General Assembly, especially on sustainable development. While in New York, Gül will give interviews to leading international media, attend a Turkish-American Business Council meeting and give a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.