Fw: Foreign Press VP Pool Report: Bilateral meeting with Turkey's President Erdogan

From: emel bayrak
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 10:00 AM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP/OVP
Reply To: emel bayrak
Subject: Foreign Press VP Pool Report: Bilateral meeting with Turkey's President Erdogan

Today's bilateral was held in the St Regis hotel where the Turkish President stays. Pool entered the room at 9.15 am. President Erdogan and Vice President Biden smiled the pool.

No audible public remarks at the meeting besides except "thank you".

Pool  left the room at 9.16 am

From the US side the pooler was able to see Tony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland Assis. Sec. of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and Brett H. McGurk  Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

Among the Turkish side, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Under Sec. of FM Feridun Sinirlioglu, Director of Turkish Intelligence, M.I.T Hakan Fidan and President Erdogan's spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin.

Your pooler met and talked with some Turkish officials before the meeting started and the officials emphasized the main differences of strategy and perspective between the US and Turkey on fighting against ISIL or Daesh. The US regards the PYD-YPG as the only local forces in Northern Syria that can fight against Daesh. But Turkey sees PYD-YPG not only as an affiliate of the terrorist group PKK, but also a proxy of the Russian-Assad ally. Turkish officials told the pooler that Turkey has big concerns about the groups (PYD-YPG), which are seeking to create a Kurdish autonomous region on Turkey's border in Syria. One official indicated that it's disappointing to see that the US hasn't changed its position on PYD because they are seen as local forces to deal with Daesh in Syria. The official hopes the US doesnt take PKK off the Terrorist list by time because of the same reason.

Emel Bayrak
The White House Correspondent for TRT-TURK
Vice President of White House Foreign Press Group

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