Obama says committed to fighting terror with Turkey

09:36, December 08, 2009      

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U.S. President Barack Obama met on Monday with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House. After talks, Obama said the two countries are ready to fight terrorism wherever it occurs, and thanked Turkey's commitment in Afghanistan.

"It is important for us to have a consistent position on terrorism wherever it takes place," Obama said, after the two met behind closed doors.

Erdogan's visit came less than a week after Obama announced an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan. The U.S. side is eager to shore up its war efforts in Afghanistan with more allied troops and support.

Before the visit, a senior state department official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Turkey is an increasingly major player on both regional and global stage.

"They are a key partner in Afghanistan," the official said, noting Turkey, which is a NATO member, had stepped up their commitment in that country in April. He also said Turkey has a "historic and extensive role" in Afghanistan.

Turkey assumed rotating command of NATO peacekeeping operations in Kabul last month. It has doubled its troops to around 1,750 there. However, it has rejected U.S. requests to send combat troops. Its soldiers are mainly involved in training Afghan security forces, other than providing security to Kabul.  

Source: Xinhua
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