Obama Does Not Want to Meet Erdogan and Stays Away from the Opening of the Mosque

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Obama Does Not Want to Meet Erdogan and Stays Away from the Opening of the Mosque

Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront

US President Obama has refused to meet with Turkish President Erdogan. The relationship between the US and Turkey has deteriorated in recent months. In particular Erdogans crackdown on the Kurds and his repressive domestic policies are met with criticism from Washington.

US President Obama has refused to meet with Turkish President Erdogan this week at the Nuclear Security Summit that is being held in the US, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama will also not attend the opening of a Turkish financed mosque in the state of Maryland. Instead Erdogan will meet with Vice-President Joe Biden.

American authorities are trying to downplay the cancellation. Obama is having regular contact with Erdogan. Most recently the two presidents have met in person in November, and made a phone call in February. “As for the Nuclear Security Summit, there are no plans for bilateral talks. So it’s not like Erdogan would be excluded,” said an official, according to the Wall Street Journal. The summit begins on Thursday; the only known meeting Obama will hold is one with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Regardless of the official protestations the rejection indicates a cooled relationship of the US government with Erdogan. In particular the actions of Turkey against the Kurdish minority in their own country is critical looked by in the US. Also the increasingly authoritarian leadership style Erdogans raises concerns that one of the major NATO countries could become a factor of uncertainty in the already chaotic region.

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