Obama, Erdogan to meet over ISIS

Obama, Erdogan to meet over ISIS
August 30 06:17 2016

President Barack Obama will meet his Turkish counterpart 
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of this week’s Group
of 20 meetings in China to discuss efforts against ISIS, the
 White House said on Monday.
 The meeting, the first between Obama and Erdoğan since a 
coup attempt in Turkey failed in July, comes amid 
differences in strategy against ISIS.

The US has condemned
 Turkish strikes on opposition groups in Syria, saying they
 are distracting from the fight against ISIS, also known as
 ISIL.
 Secretary of Defense Ash Carter cautioned Turkish forces
 Monday against advancing further south of the Syrian city 
of Jarablus and clashing with US-backed Syrian Democratic
 Forces.
 “We have called upon Turkey to stay focused on the fight 
against ISIL and not to engage” the SDF, Carter said while
 speaking to reporters at the Pentagon alongside his Indian 
counterpart.

He signaled US support for Turkey’s effort to liberate
 Jarablus and ISIS-controlled areas to the west. He also 
noted that the US had asked the Kurdish YPG to withdraw 
their forces east of the Euphrates and said “they are doing
 that.”
Obama’s meeting is the latest in a string of high-level US 
officials’ outreach to Turkish leaders. Last week, Vice
President Joe Biden visited Turkey personally.

Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser,
 said the meeting between Obama and Erdoğan would focus
on those issues, as well as expressing US support for 
Turkey in the aftermath of the coup attempt.
 Turkey, however, has taken issue with the US response. In 
particular, Ankara is currently asking the US to extradite a
 Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric for alleged involvement in
 the attempted overthrow, but Obama administration is
 demanding evidence of participation.

While in China, Obama is also planning to meet formally
 with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss climate issues
and cyber security concerns, the White House said. He’s
also likely to interact with Russian President Vladimir Putin,
though no formal sit-down is scheduled.

When Obama travels to Laos later in the week, he’ll sit for
 talks with the controversial new leader of the Philippines,
Rodrigo Duterte, who has drawn criticism for harsh tactics
in his battle against drugs.
 The US has expressed concerns about extrajudicial killings
 of drug dealers after Duterte’s tough rhetoric about battling
 crime. Rhodes said he expected Obama to raise those
 concerns with the close American ally in their meeting in
Laos.

(CNN)