Biden, Erdogan discuss regional affairs

Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Turkish leaders agreed with the U.S. government that security and support for the rule of law were mutual interests in the region, the U.S. vice president said.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about regional issues. These included Iraq, where political infighting erupted shortly after U.S. military forces left the country in December.

"Following up on their conversation during the vice president's trip to Turkey in December, the two leaders agreed on the need to advance security, support the rule of law and encourage democracy in the region," Biden's office said in a statement.

Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman reported that authorities Friday arrested retired Gen. Ilker Basbug for his role in the so-called Ergenekon plot, a plot said to involve an alleged military rehearsal for a coup against the government.

Turkey this week said it would compensate families of villagers killed in a military raid along the border with Iraq. The attack targeted Kurdish militants in the area but instead killed more than a dozen villagers trying to smuggle goods across the border.

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