The meeting, which was not previously announced, will occur just over a week after Turkey decided to return its ambassador to Washington after a row over moves in Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide
“We very much wanted to have this opportunity to consult with Prime Minister Erdogan on a range of pressing issues that the United States and Turkey are working together on,” Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said during a Sunday press conference, adding that the talks would focus on Iran, the Armenian normalization process, nuclear non-proliferation and other issues.
Last week, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not list Erdogan among the leaders of foreign countries who would have a bilateral meeting with Obama.
Asked why the meeting was scheduled at the last minute, Rhodes said that, it was just matter of finding time. “There is obviously a very busy schedule here, 47 leaders and a full schedule of meetings around the summit that the president has to preside over … But because of his role as the host of this summit it’s very important for him to lead the discussions throughout the two days.”
The National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer also confirmed the meeting, Hurriyet said, citing an email. “The United States and Turkey are NATO allies and work together to advance a broad agenda of shared strategic priorities. The president looks forward to continuing his consultations with Prime Minister Erdogan on a wide range of issues of mutual concern, including preventing nuclear proliferation and resolving regional issues for the benefit of all.”
Hammer also said the time and place of the meeting is not clear, however the meeting will be in a bilateral fashion as announced.