Today.Az » World news » Erdoğan to meet Obama at G-20 summit
26 June 2010 [10:16] - Today.Az
With world leaders coming together this weekend for a G-20 summit in Toronto, Turkish diplomats are expecting Erdoğan to meet Obama to discuss the various controversial events involving Turkey since their phone conversation in May.
Turkey’s prime minister was expected to meet the U.S. president during the G-20 summit in Toronto on Saturday amid ongoing tensions after Turkey voted against Iran sanctions, and Israel raided a Gaza-bound aid ship.
“There is no scheduled meeting yet,” diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday. But if a meeting is arranged between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama on the sidelines in Toronto, then Iran’s nuclear issue, Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and the struggle against terror will be atop the Turkish side’s agenda.
Canceling his other foreign visits in the aftermath of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, attacks, Erdoğan has decided instead to attend the G-20 summit. Obama and Erdoğan agreed to meet at the G-20 in a phone conversation in May.
According to Turkish diplomatic sources, one of the issues to be discussed is Iran’s nuclear situation, and the reasons why Turkey voted against sanctions on Iran in the U.N. Security Council. The “no vote” decision against U.N. sanctions was not a vote against the U.S., diplomatic sources told the Daily News. “Our objective is the same as the U.S.’s, we just have a difference in method. This message will probably be given to Obama.”
Turkey and Brazil signed an agreement with Tehran that would entail Iran transferring enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel for its research reactor. The two countries hoped the deal would remove the need for a fourth round of U.N. sanctions, but when it came to the day of the U.N. Security Council vote, some members expressed reservations about the swap deal, saying the Tehran agreement was not sufficient to stop additional sanctions. Turkey argued that a new round of sanctions would block diplomatic efforts toward resolving the nuclear problem.
The second issue on the agenda for the possible meeting between Erdoğan with Obama will be Israel and the peace process. “Israel should not block the Middle East peace process,” diplomatic sources said. Erdoğan is expected to ask Obama to deal with the Gaza issue via international law and push for an end to the Gaza blockade. The tension between Israel and Turkey after Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza bound aid flotilla will also most likely be raised during the meeting.
The Obama administration helped Turkey retrieve its citizens kept by Israel after the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship. Ankara has denounced a commission set up by Israel to probe the deadly raid and has insisted on an international inquiry commission set up under the U.N. However, Washington welcomed Israel’s move as "an important step forward," urging a prompt investigation.
“The issue of Turkey’s struggle with the PKK can be raised during the talks within the scope of northern Iraq, where the terrorist organization has bases,” sources said. Recognizing the PKK as a “common enemy,” Washington signaled they are ready for new requests from the Turkish government. The Turkish military bombed targets in northern Iraq in response to escalating PKK attacks in June. Since then, Ankara has requested more cooperation from Regional Kurdish Administration in northern Iraq.
/Hurriyet Daily News/