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Gaza and Syria top Erdoğan's agenda for US visit

Two of the main subjects on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s agenda for his official visit to Washington May 16 are the Gaza blockade and Syria, daily Hürriyet reported May 4. Erdoğan, who is set to travel to Gaza following his Washington visit, will officially ask the U.S. President Barack Obama to increase pressure on Israel to end the blockade, the report said. According to Hürriyet, the Turkish prime minister is also expected to express his discontentment about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on his Gaza visit. Following his last visit to Turkey two weeks ago, Kerry said in a press conference that he had told Erdoğan to postpone his plans to visit Gaza.  “We really think that [the visit] would be better delayed and that itshouldn't take place at this point in time,” Kerry had said April 21, causing diplomatic disapproval.

For its part, the U.S. could ask Turkey to exchange ambassadors with Israel as soon as possible to accelerate the normalization of ties.

Syria and Iran are also at the top of the agenda. Both leaders are expected to put an emphasis on intelligence sharing between the two countries. Erdoğan will brief Obama on Turkey’s ongoing peace process concerning the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Also according to Hürriyet, a group of 50 businessmen will join Erdoğan and meet with American CEOs. Erdoğan is said to find insufficient the $20 billion trade volume between both countries and willing to increase their economic cooperation. The Turkish side is also expected to renew its offer to form a partnership for the construction of a new nuclear plant in Turkey.

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