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Topic - Ozgur Unluhisarcikli
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a meeting Thursday at the White House, is expected to urge President Obama to arm the Syrian opposition and enforce a "no-fly" zone in an effort to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
"It is highly unlikely that the Obama administration would lead the U.S. to engaging Syria militarily through a 'no-fly' zone, given the domestic challenges at home and competing priorities on foreign policy," said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. office in Ankara, Turkey. "While providing advanced weapons to the opposition would be less costly, the U.S. is also reluctant to do this due to the increasing weight of radical groups within the opposition. Therefore, it is not likely that Erdogan will get what he wants from Obama regarding Syria on this trip."
"While the U.S. expects Turkey not to engage [the Kurdish Regional Government] in a way that could undermine Iraq's unity, Turkey sees Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as the main problem and expects the U.S. to withdraw its support from him," said Mr. Unluhisarcikli.