The Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in New York on Tuesday and will likely discuss Ankara’s deteriorating relationship with former ally Israel, as well as the new order in the Middle East in the wake of widespread revolts.
Leaders from around the world will hold talks as the 66th session of United Nations General Assembly is underway in New York.
According to Today’s Zaman, a Turkish newspaper, Erdogan is expected to attend twenty bilateral meetings with other global leaders and also participate in a number of multinational meetings.
The issue of Palestine is also likely to occupy Erdogan’s time. Turkey has urged Washington to support the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, while the U.S. thinks Israel should have a say in this matter.
The relationship between Ankara and Israel reached an all-time low last year after Israeli commandoes attacked a Turkish-led flotilla which was transporting goods to Gaza – in breach of a naval blockade.
Israeli officials have since refused to apologize for the incident, leading Turkey to since recall its ambassador, freeze all military agreements, and apply its own sanctions against the Jewish state.
Separately, Erdogan is also expected to speak to Obama about Syria and what kind of multinational efforts should be taken against President Bashar al-Aasad, after months of a brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters in that country.
Thousands of Syrian refugees have poured into eastern Turkey to escape Assad’s troops.
Erdogan will address the UN General Assembly on Thursday -- the focus of his speech is expected to be the ongoing famine in Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will also attend the UN session and is expected to meet with his counterparts, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the British Foreign Secretary William Hague.