Friday, May 17, 2013

Obama stays cautious on Syria after talks as Turkey presses for urgency

Barack Obama and Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan skated over major differences on how to deal with the Syrian crisis after a lengthy meeting at the White House on Thursday.

Obama, at a joint press conference in the Rose Garden, said there was "no magic formula" for resolving the conflict. He pinned hopes on an international conference proposed for Geneva next month that would bring together the Assad government and the rebels, in spite of widespread scepticism about the chances of it bringing about an end to the conflict.

Erdogan is pressing for more urgency and more positive action to bring the Syrian catastrophe to an end and is seeking the US and others in the international community to implement at the very least a no-fly zone to prevent Syrian jets and helicopters operating with impunity in rebel-held areas.