Erdogan to meet US President Obama
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to depart for his four-day trip to the United States today with a heavy agenda topped by recent developments in Syria and terrorism. The prime minister's meeting with Obama is set to take place on May 16. Although this is the 15th time Erdogan will be heading to the United States in an official capacity, this will be the first time he will be hosted with the highest level of protocol. Erdogan will be greeted with a military ceremony at both the airport and the White House and he will stay at the Blair House, where the most prestigious White House guests are accommodated. The most important topic of the Erdogan-Obama meeting will be the ongoing turmoil in Syria and the efforts aimed at ending bloodshed in Turkey's southern neighbor. Erdogan is likely to ask Obama to take concrete steps for Syria. The withdrawal of outlawed PKK militants from the Turkish soil as well as the bomb attacks in Reyhanli will also be discussed. The Turkey-Israel reconciliation process and Erdogan's scheduled visit to Gaza are also going to be important issues to be discussed by the two leaders. The latest developments on Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership bid will also be on their agenda. Nearly 100 CEO businessmen who will accompany Erdogan during the trip will meet leading CEOs in the US. The top item on the agenda during the bilateral meeting scheduled for Erdogan and Obama will be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement to be signed by the United States with the EU. Ankara wants the same agreement also to be signed with Turkey. Iran's nuclear program and security issues are also expected to be discussed by the two leaders. Erdogan will also ask for support of US lobbies to back Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Olympics.