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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Newport, Wales

September 05, 2014

President Obama. I very much appreciate the opportunity to once again meet with Prime Minister—former Prime Minister Erdogan, now President Erdogan. And I want to congratulate him on his election victory.

President Erdogan is one of the key leaders of our alliance, and Turkey obviously serves an extraordinarily important role in the alliance in part because it is a bridge between Europe and the Middle East and the Muslim world. And in that capacity, his views on how we deal with some of the challenges arising in the southern front of NATO are very critical.

So I look forward to a very productive discussion around issues that we're both equally concerned about, principally the instability in Iraq and Syria and the emergence of ISIL as a threat to all our nations. And I want to express my appreciation for the cooperation between U.S. and Turkish both military and intelligence services in dealing with the issue of foreign fighters, an area where we still have more work to do.

We'll also have an opportunity to discuss the humanitarian elements of the ongoing conflict in Syria, where Turkey has borne an enormous burden and has been very generous in accommodating so many people who have been displaced from their homes by the violence.

President Erdogan. Thank you. Distinguished members of the press, I'm very pleased to have this occasion to meet President Obama on the margins of the NATO leaders summit to discuss some very important developments taking place in our region, especially most recently.

We have between Turkey and the United States a very important process of model partnership. And this model partnership brings us close to each other on many issues. And on the military front, one of the most important areas of cooperation in this framework is NATO. We also have significant cooperation politically, economically, culturally, and commercially.

And we have had this time at NATO, a very important summit where there was wide discussion about a number of issues and countries, such as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, and Ukraine. And we will now have an opportunity to discuss these issues in some depth with President Obama. And we will make best use of this opportunity to do so.

Thank you.

President Obama. Thank you, everybody. I'll see you in a bit.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:08 p.m. at the Celtic Manor Resort. In his remarks, he referred to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Newport, Wales Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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