Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama, may 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama refused a personal meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This week, the Turkish leader should visit the USA to participate in the summit on nuclear security.
According to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed officials, Obama rejected a proposal from Erdogan to join him at the opening of the mosque in Maryland, the construction of which was financed by Turkey. The President of the United States also has no plans to hold an official meeting with Erdogan in one-on-one, learned the WSJ.
According to senior officials from the Obama administration, the decision not to meet Erdogan at the time as he will be in Washington, should not be taken as neglect. The heads of state in November met at the G20 summit in Turkey, as well as talking on the phone in February.
“In the case of the nuclear security summit is not sustainable [two-way] graphics, so the speech that Erdogan refused, do not go,” said a high-ranking source of the newspaper. The WSJ notes that Turkish officials have for several months been trying to prepare the groundwork for the meeting of Erdogan and Obama in Washington.
As the paper notes, Washington and Ankara in recent years has faced disagreements on the Kurdish issue. American officials support of Turkey’s struggle against Kurdish workers ‘ party (PKK), which in the United States as a terrorist organization. While Washington considers its allies, the Kurdish militia in Syria. Ankara, in turn, considers them part of the PKK.
In early February, Erdogan urged Washington to make a choice between Turkey and the Kurds. The statements were made after the envoy of the American President Brett Mcgurk visited the Syrian Kobani, which is controlled by the Kurds. “How can we trust you? Who are your partners — we or these terrorists in Kobani?” — outraged the President of Turkey.
In turn, Obama called Erdogan to stop shelling the Kurds in Syria. According to the President of the United States the White house said the failed Syrian Kurds to capitalize on the situation in the region to capture additional territory, however, believe that Ankara should exercise “mutual restraint”.