Obama to host Middle East leaders for talks on Syria

Last Updated: Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 12:50

Washington: The US President Barack Obama will host leaders from its allies Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and UAE, and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the comng weeks, amid ongoing turmoil in Syria, White House has said.

Announcements for these series of meetings came from the White House as the Secretary of State, John Kerry, was preparing to leave for yet another trip to the region - his third in less than a month.

Obama would kick-off his series of meetings at the White House with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on April 12.

This would be followed by his meeting with the UAE Crown Prince on April 16, the Qatar Amir on April 23, the King of Jordan on April 26 and the Turkish Prime Minister on May 16.

"The President looks forward to welcoming the Secretary General back to the White House and consulting with him on key issues, including the crisis in Syria, and expressing his gratitude for the many sacrifices United Nations personnel have made to protect vulnerable populations and to deliver aid to those most in need," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Carney said that Obama has invited leaders of four Middle East countries to the White House in next few weeks.

"The president looks forward to welcoming his counterparts from the UAE, from Qatar, Jordan and Turkey to Washington over the next several weeks," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.

"As you know, President Obama has very close relationships with these leaders, and he has a deep personal interest in the region as you saw during his recent trip.
He will use these opportunities to discuss the complex developments in the broader Middle East, so not just Syria, but including Syria," he said.

"There are obviously a number of issues for these leaders and the president to discuss, including Syria, including his recent visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, including the broader developments in the Arab Spring.

So he looks forward to these visits, and they reflect his commitment and interest in the region and in our policies towards the region," Carney said.

"On Thursday, May 16, President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to the White House.

As friends and NATO allies, the United States and Turkey are partners in addressing a range of critical global and regional issues.

The President looks forward to discussing these issues with the Prime Minister, to include Syria, trade and economic cooperation, and countering terrorism," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, said.

"The Prime Minister`s visit underscores the close friendship between the United States and Turkey and the strategic importance we place on broadening and strengthening our relationship moving forward," he said.

King Abdullah II of Jordan will meet Obama at the White House on April 26. "The President deeply appreciated the hospitality he received in Jordan last month and looks forward to continuing his consultations with King Abdullah on Jordan`s political and economic reforms, the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and additional regional issues of mutual concern," he said.

Jordan is an invaluable ally and close friend. "King Abdullah`s visit is a demonstration of the close partnership between the United States and Jordan," Carney said.

Obama had travelled to Jordan last month. Obama will welcome to the White House the Amir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, on April 23.

"The United States and Qatar have a strong bilateral relationship, reflecting our close defense partnership, expanding commercial ties, and many other areas of cooperation," Carney said.

The US is firmly committed to continuing to deepen our consultations with Qatar on the many important developments in the region.

"The President looks forward to a broad discussion with the Amir on a range of mutual interests and regional issues to further strengthen our bilateral partnership," Carney said.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates will be at the White House on April 16.
"The President looks forward to discussing with the Crown Prince the strong and enduring ties between the United States and the UAE and consulting on common strategic interests in the Gulf region and broader Middle East," he said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 12:50

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