Obama to host Mideast leaders in renewed effort

After ending Turkey-Israel deadlock, White House is to host Turkish PM, other heads of states in revived US engagement with Mid East.

April 5, 2013 22:25
US President Obama shakes hands with Turkeys PM

Obama, Erdogan shake hands with flags in background 370 (r). (photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Just two weeks after he brokered the dramatic rapprochement between Israel and Turkey, US President Barack Obama is to welcome four Middle Eastern heads of states, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to the White House next month.

In a statement to the press, the White House affirmed the meeting between the United States and Turkey, saying the visit "underscores the close friendship" between them.

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Erdogan is to visit the White House on Thursday, May 16. The two leaders plan to discuss a range of regional issues, including the Syria crisis and countering terrorism.

Along with Erdogan, the White House announced Obama will host Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on April 16, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on April 23, and Jordanian King Abdullah II on April 26.

The planned meetings are to follow the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is traveling to the Middle East with scheduled stops in Istanbul along with Jerusalem and Ramallah, and hints at an effort to solidify progress between Israel and Turkey to end their diplomatic deadlock.

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