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US and Turkey discuss possibility of regime change in Syria

IANS 23 Nov 2014, 6:57:58 AM IST

Istanbul: US Vice President Joe Biden met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul Saturday and discussed the possibility of a transition of power in Syria.

"On Syria, we discussed ... not only to deny the Islamic State (IS) a safe haven and defeat them, but also (to) strengthen the Syrian opposition and ensure a transition away from the Assad regime," Biden said at a joint news conference with Erdogan, acoording to a Xinhua report.

The two leaders also spoke about their nations' efforts to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces protecting their communities, confirmed Biden.

However, no mention was made of Erdogan's demands to create no-fly zones in Syria.

Erdogan had earlier, insisted that if the US wanted Turkish help, it must focus less on fighting IS extremists and more on toppling the Assad regime.

However, he said Saturday that Turkey would continue to work closely with the US.

Turkey is determined to strengthen its cooperation with the US against the IS, to maintain regional peace and security, Erdogan said.

He termed Biden's visit to be “very meaningful". Biden had arrived in Istanbul Friday.

Biden said the US needs Turkey in its fight against the IS.

The US vice president said that efforts are being made to stem the flow of foreign fighters to battlefields in Iraq and Syria and dry up their funding.

He thanked Turkey for its leadership in that regard.