Obama-Erdogan meet in the sidelines of the G20

Obama-Erdogan meet in the sidelines of the G20

Ankara, November 16, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

Obama: “Turkey is an important partner in combating ISIS”

By Manolis Kostidis

For about 1 hour and 20 minutes lasted the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the sidelines of the scheduled meeting of the summit of G-20 in Antalya, Turkey.

US President stressed that apart from the global economy, in his conversation with his Turkish counterpart he discussed the terrorist attacks in Paris and seemed to regard Turkey as an important factor in the fight against the jihadists. “Turkey has become an important ally in fighting ISIS both in Syria and Iraq. As a member of NATO, Turkey has become an important partner in the effort to combat ISIS”.

It was a profitable meeting. We referred to the Vienna talks. We spoke of ways to dealing with ISIS, which has caused great pain in Ankara and Paris. Turkey at present hosts about 2 million refugees, which is a big burden, and we discussed how other countries can help in dealing with this crisis”.

Turkish President stressed that terrorism has no religion and homeland and stressed that the attack in Paris is against all humanity. “In Paris, Ankara, Suruc and Diyarbakir we are faced with global terrorism”, Erdogan said.

“With Mr. Obama we had the opportunity to talk about ways of dealing with ISIS and examined our next steps as members of an alliance. As strategic allies we will continue our efforts in our contribution to world peace”.

Analysts believe that after the attacks in Paris, Turkey will play an important role in the ground operations against ISIS.

In 2014 the US Vice President Joe Biden had stated that during the conversation with Erdogan, the Turkish President had admitted that Turkey left many fighters of the Islamic State to pass through its borders. The statement was later retracted after the reaction of Ankara.

According to information the Americans made clear it to Ankara that they will continue their cooperation with the Kurds of northern Syria (PYD), acknowledging however, their concerns about the PKK.

At the same time, strong action was requested against ISIS, with Obama appearing willing to discuss the creation of a security zone inside Syria.

Obama-Putin meetings during the breaks of the summit

However everyone recognises that much will depend on the stance of Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Antalya on Sunday morning. The US president had several meetings with his Russian counterpart in the sidelines of the G-20 summit, with the television lens revealing that they had intense discussions. The White House characterises these meetings as productive.

Ankara cancelled the purchase of anti-aircraft missiles from China

Within the climate of the growing US-Turkish alliance, Ankara announced the cancellation of the long-range anti-aircraft missiles from China worth USD 4 billion, to which the US were expressing their strong opposition.

A minute of silence for the victims in Paris

French President Francois Hollande did not attend the summit of the G20, after canceling his trip due to the greatest terrorist attack against his country. The leaders of the 20 biggest economies of the world at the beginning of the meeting held a minute of silence for the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris.

Terrorism threatens the peace and security of us all. As Turkey we believe that we must increase our cooperation against terrorism”, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his opening speech at the meeting.

Tusk: “The air raids of Moscow are increasing the refugee wave”

Sensation was caused the statements of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who argued that the Russian air raids in Syria add to the wave of refugees to Europe.

Tusk called on Russia to take stronger action against the Islamic State and stop hitting targets of the mild opposition in Syria.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Turkey and Lebanon “for hosting 4 million Syrian refugees” and called for more assistance from the international community to these two countries.

EU-Turkey summit on the refugee crisis

President of Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in his speech to the G 20 admitted that the Schengen area is in danger because of unsatisfactory protection of the borders. “But we must not confuse refugees with terrorists. The refugees come to our gates for their own reasons”.

He announced that there will be a summit between the EU and Turkey, with the presence of Erdogan, to address the refugee problem. An announcement that indicates an upgrade in Turkey-EU relations.