Biden meets with Turkish president

Dec. 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Turkey, discussed the situation in Syria with President Abdullah Gul during a brief stop Friday in Ankara.

A senior official who talked to reporters on a flight to Istanbul said Biden told Gul the United States believes Syrian President Bashar Assad is the major source of instability in the region. Biden said Turkey and the United States have a common goal, stopping the violence in Syria and convincing Assad to leave office.

Biden praised Turkey's constitutional reform process. He said the country can set an example for others in the region following the events of the Arab Spring.

In Istanbul, Biden is scheduled to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit Saturday and to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He travels to Greece Sunday, where he will meet Monday with President Karolos Papoulias and attend a lunch meeting with Prime Minister Lucas Papademo.

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