Obama and Erdogan meeting in US visit unlikely

Published March 30th, 2016 - 06:35 GMT
US President Obama and Turkish President Erdogan. (AFP/File)
US President Obama and Turkish President Erdogan. (AFP/File)

Erdogan who arrived in Washington, DC, late on Tuesday, said before leaving Istanbul that a meeting had been scheduled.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, however, sounded less confident, telling reporters he "would expect that over the course of the visit, the president will have an opportunity at some point to have at least an informal discussion with President Erdogan."

The Turkish president will be one of more than 50 world leaders attending a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Thursday and Friday.

Erdogan will instead meet with US Vice President Joe Biden.

Earnest dismissed the idea that no meeting with Erdogan stood for a snub to Ankara.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said families of the US military personnel have been ordered to leave Turkey "due to continued security concerns."

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Tuesday that the US Department of Defense "authorized the ordered departure of all DoD dependents not assigned to chief of mission authority from Adana, to include Incirlik air base, Izmir and Mugla, Turkey."

The decision, made after coordination with US Secretary of State John Kerry, "allows for the deliberate safe return of family members from these areas due to continued security concerns in the region," he added during the daily briefing in Arlington, Virginia.

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