President Obama to Meet China's Xi and Turkey's Erdogan Next Week

Image WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week for the first time since the attempted coup in Turkey in July, the White House said Monday. Mr. Obama also will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for several hours in a session to review the status of U.S.-China relations, said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. The meetings will take place on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in China.

Mr. Obama will also speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the summit about Syria and Ukraine, Mr. Rhodes said, but no formal meeting is scheduled. Mr. Obama’s meeting with Mr. Erdogan will focus primarily on the failed coup, according to Mr. Rhodes. Turkey’s request for the U.S. to extradite a cleric living in Pennsylvania, whom the government says was behind the coup, has strained relations between the two allies. Mr. Rhodes said they would also discuss the Turkish-led operation in Jarablus, Syria. “We have a broad and active agenda,” he said.

The U.S. wouldn’t support Turkey moving south and engaging U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, he said, and for Kurds to conflict with Turkey would “complicate” the anti-Islamic State campaign. The president’s meeting with Mr. Xi will cover an array of differences between the U.S. and China, including tensions in the South China Sea, the economy, human rights and cybersecurity, Mr. Rhodes said.

Mr. Obama also will travel to Laos for a meeting of leaders from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and plans to meet the new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

(Carol E. Lee, WSJ)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07