Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
said Wednesday that Ankara has suspended its talks with the Syrian government, and is considering joining the West-imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The move was announced following Erdogan's meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York City; and prompted by Assad brutal crackdown
on pro-democracy protesters.
Obama and Erdogan discussed various regional issues, including Turkey's tense relations with Israel,
an issue the US president urged Erdogan to resolve.
According to a White House statement, much of the meeting focused on Assad's unrelenting crackdown on anti-government protests, which already has neighboring Turkey alarmed.
Speaking at a press conference in New York, Erdogan added that he will act along with the United States on the sanctions to be issued on Syria.
"I did not want to come to this point. But the Syrian government entailed us to make such a decision", Turkey's Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
Obama and Erdogan agreed on the need to increase pressure on Assad and agreed to consult on possible future steps "that "could include sanctions,
political pressure and other measures," the report said.
"(The) Syrian government has launched a dark propaganda against Turkey. It is really obnoxious. We do not have any confidence in the current government. I will visit the camp in the southern Turkish province of Hatay. I want to see the living conditions in the camps," he said.
The Turkish PM said that he and Obama also spoke of the war on terror: "The United States, Turkey and Iraq agreed that the PKK terrorist organization was their common enemy in 2007. There is no change in our attitude. President Obama pledged to extend any support to Turkey in its fight against terrorism," he said.
"President Obama thanked us for Turkey's positive attitude about NATO's
missile system. As you know, the southern province of Malatya was chosen to deploy the anti-missile radar," Erdogan said.
Turning his attention to Libya,
Erdogan said: "Today, I attended a UN conference on Libya. Dictatorship has come to an end and democratic process has begun in Libya. We should assist Libyan people till everything backs to normal. Then we can withdraw from Libya. The United Nations is ready to extend support to Libyan people," Erdogan told said at a news conference.
Erdogan said that Libya has some $170 billion in different countries.