Erdoğan And Obama Met in G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China

obbUS President Barak Obama told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a private 45-minute long meeting on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China; they held a brief press conference afterwards.

US President Barak Obama told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan it is critical to “finish the job” to secure Turkey’s border with Syria where Islamic State militants cross back and forth, foreign recruits cross into Syria and militants enter Turkey as a gateway to Europe

The Turkish army crossed the border into Syria last week at Jarablus, on the shores of the Euphrates, and on Saturday they crossed further west, at al-Rai, opening a new front. Turkish security forces are supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the fight against ISIS along the border regions. It has also clashed with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara insists that no Kurdish forces should be permitted in the area.

In the leaders’ meeting on Sunday, Erdoğan insisted that the US and Turkey must present a common front against terrorism and there should be no distinction between “good terrorists” and bad terrorists; all terrorism is bad, he said.

Turkey objects to US support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Washington sees the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) as a key ally in the fight against ISIS while Ankara considers the YPG a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a named terrorist organization.

In their meeting, Obama also assured Erdoğan that the US will work with Turkey to ensure that those responsible for the attempted coup are brought to justice. Their meeting is the first since the July 15 failed coup.