24 August 2016
U.S. Vice-President, Joe Bide, on Wednesday, landed in Ankara, Turkey, for a visit set to last several hours, amid a Turkish cross-border military operation in northern Syria.
He was greeted at the airport by the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and the Turkish Ambassador to Washington, the report said.
The American vice-president is visiting Turkey, a U.S. ally, for the first time since the failed coup attempt last month, and coming amid tensions on the Syrian border.
Biden, arriving from Latvia and leaving the same day for Sweden, will have a packed schedule of meetings with Turkish officials, including a session with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to close his visit.
The two are expected to discuss the fate of Fethullah Gulen, a one-time Erdogan-ally turned foe.
The Turkish-born preacher lives in exile in the United States and Turkey wants him extradited, blaming him for the coup attempt. Gulen had since denied the charge.
The U.S. is insisting that Turkey should submit evidence and a formal extradition request, and has sent teams to help the government to prepare the paperwork, but Ankara wants him extradited immediately.
In the days leading to Biden’s visit, the Syrian-Turkish border was tense as Turkey shelled Islamic State positions and Syrian Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.
Islamic State fired back into Turkey.
The Kurds in Syria are the main force fighting against Islamic State and the U.S. launched airstrikes to help their ground campaign.
Turkey is wary of the gains, which are likely to be a focus of Biden’s talks.
Last Saturday, a suicide bombing at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep, southern Turkey, killed 54 people, mostly children.
Turkish authorities blamed Islamic State.