US, Turkey to discuss transitional process

US, Turkey to discuss transitional process

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
US, Turkey to discuss transitional process

PM Erdoğan (L) and US President Obama pose during the G-20 Summit in Mexico in this photo. Turkey and the US will telk the Syrian transition process this weekend. AA photo

The transition process in Syria and a deadlock in the U.N. Security Council, due to the vetoes of Russia and China, will be at the top of the agenda during a weekend visit to Turkey by the U.S. secretary of state, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Turkey was put into motion after a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Barack Obama last week. The leaders had spoken to coordinate efforts to accelerate a political transition in Syria, which would include the departure of Bashar al-Assad and a response to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people, a White House statement issued July 30 read.

Clinton is likely to arrive in Istanbul Aug. 11 following her trip to Africa, but her schedule of meetings is not yet certain, the diplomat said. Other regional and bilateral topics, such as Afghanistan, Turkey’s tension with Iraq and the growing strain between Iraq’s central government and the Kurdish region in the north are also expected to be on the agenda of talks, according to the diplomat. Turkey and U.S. officials will discuss Iran’s nuclear program and international sanctions against the country, as well as Iran’s stance regarding the Syrian crisis during the visit.

PM responds to Obama’s pose
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has responded to speculation about why U.S. President Barack Obama was photographed holding onto a baseball bat as the two conducted a recent telephone conversation.

“Of course, I can’t know what position Obama takes or what he holds in hands while speaking with me,” Erdoğan said. “Obama, who I saw and spoke with in the Oval Office, is a respectful person, my friend and [he] shows his respect.” Erdoğan also said he was not taking seriously the speculation appearing in the media over the pose.