US VP Biden to visit Turkey in January
US Vice President Joe Biden poses with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace on November 22, 2014 in Istanbul (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
US Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Turkey next month where he is expected to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the White House told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
The vice president's Jan. 23 visit will take place as a US-led coalition fight continues against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.
The White House did not provide details about the vice president’s trip but the visit is considered important as the US presses Turkey to do more in the war against the militants and in strengthening its border with Syria.
Since Turkey joined the coalition in 2014, the country has been a target of Daesh attacks.
Two major bombings in the southeastern Suruc district and capital of Ankara has killed hundreds of civilians.
The Ankara attack marked the deadliest bombing in Turkish history with 103 victims killed and dozens injured.
It came weeks before the country’s general election in November. Daesh claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Two suspected Daesh militants were detained Wednesday in Turkey, suspected of planning suicide attacks in the Turkish capital.
In addition to the fight with Daesh, Biden is also expected to discuss the issue of Turkish troops staged at a training camp in northern Iraq.
Earlier this month, in a telephone call with Davutoglu, Biden welcomed the drawback of the troops deployed at the camp, calling it "an important step to de-escalate recent tensions," between the two countries, the White House said.
On his last official visit to Turkey in late 2014, Biden met with Davutoglu and Erdogan on the sidelines of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit.
In a joint press conference with Erdogan, Biden stressed that the US needed Turkey in its fight against Daesh and thanked Ankara for its leadership in "stemming the flow of foreign fighters to battlefields in Iraqi and Syria and drying their funding".
Biden will stop in Turkey prior to a visit to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.
By Esra Kaymak and Feyza Süsal
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