US and Turkey agree on Syria policy as Erdoğan meets Biden

Published 22.11.2014 18:59
Updated 23.11.2014 10:21
US and Turkey agree on Syria policy as Erdoğan meets Biden

Turkey is determined to strengthen its relationship with the United States to maintain regional peace and security, said Turkish President Erdoğan on Saturday. He made the comments in a joint press conference with the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden following a four-hour long meeting.

"Our relations with the U.S. are based on mutual trust and benefit and is stronger than ever," Erdoğan said.

Biden underlined that Turkey is carrying a great burden by being a safe haven for more than 1.5 million refugees. He said, "Turkey and the U.S. are sharing the same policy towards the Syria crisis."

"We discussed with President Erdoğan what the coalition can do to defeat ISIS and we need Turkey's support. I think Turkey believes that they need us as well," Biden said.

Biden also announced that the U.S. will provide $135 million in humanitarian aid to help civilians affected by the Syrian war. The new funding will be provided to people inside Syria, and Syrian refugees in Turkey and in other neighboring countries.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, Biden said that, if there was political will, there was potential for a solution which would be beneficial for both Cypriots and people in the wider region.

He called on both sides to return to the negotiating table.

During the meeting, the two leaders focused on cooperation in fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham in Syria and Iraq as well as coping with the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflicts on the other side of Turkey's southern border.

Joe Biden is to leave Turkey for Washington on Sunday after a meeting with Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is the spiritual leader of the world's Eastern Orthodox churches.

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