Erdogan and Obama hold joint press conference
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama who had come together in the meetings between Turkish and US delegations on Thursday held a joint press conference in the Rose Garden in Washington. Speaking at the press conference, Erdogan said that ending the bloody process in Syria and meeting the legitimate demands of the people by establishing a new government were two areas where Turkey was in full agreement with the US. "Supporting the opposition and Assad leaving are important issues. We also agree that we have to prevent Syria from becoming an area for terrorist organizations. We also agree that chemical weapons should not be used, and all minorities and their rights should be secured. These are all priority areas for all of us. And we discussed what needs to be done on these issues with the president, and this evening we will continue to talk about these in greater detail," Erdogan said. In response to a question about the chemical weapons claimed to be used in Syria, Erdogan said, "Chemical weapons and missiles, rockets, all that have been fired -- all that information is shared between the relevant bodies within our administrations, and it's not just Turkey and the United States. For example, the United Kingdom and all others have that -- document that information, because we share information, and the U.N. Security Council -- all the other relevant authorities will also receive that information in the proper time so that more information is provided to the public. So we will continue to work in this way," adding that Turkey would like to see the sensitivity on the part of the international community for the ongoing Syria crisis. Stating that Turkey and the United States have many issues that covers the Middle East to the Balkans to Central Asia to other areas, including in issues such as energy security of supply and many other issues, Erdogan said that they display a very strong cooperation in all these areas and on all these issues. For his part, Obama said, "I don't think anybody in the region, including the (Turkish) prime minister, would think that US unilateral actions would bring about a better outcome inside of Syria." Stating that Turkish and American militaries, intelligence and diplomatic personnel were constantly sharing information about the possibility of the use of chemical weapons inside of Syria, Obama said, "But separate and apart from the chemical weapons, we know that tens of thousands of people are being killed with artillery and mortars and that the humanitarian crisis and the slaughter that's taking place, by itself, is sufficient to prompt strong international action." Obama also said that there were currently a whole range of options that the US was already engaged in, and that he preserved the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military, as the chemical weapons inside of Syria also threatened the security of the US and its allies.