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Biden Meets Turkey's Erdogan Amid Divides Over Syria


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul to discuss Washington's desire for Ankara to play a larger role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) organization

Biden is reported to be in Turkey to press for access to Incirlik airbase, which would put places of the international coalition against IS closer to their targets in Iraq and Syria.

There has been no word from Turkey so far on whether such access would be granted.

Biden is also expected to press Turkey to go beyond its agreement to train Western-backed Syrian rebels and specify when it will do so and how many.

However, Erdogan has said he has his own demands for Washington.

He has previously called for a no-fly zone imposed on northern Syria, and for the main goal of the international coalition to be ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rather than the current, primary objective of defeating the Islamic State militia.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP
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