November 22, 2014 / 5:43 PM / in 3 years

U.S. and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan he had discussed a transition of power in Syria away from President Bashar al-Assad during a four-hour meeting in Istanbul on Saturday.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul November 22, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State (IS) insurgents in Syria and Iraq, pushing for a more comprehensive strategy that includes Assad’s removal from power.

“On Syria, we discussed ... not only to deny ISIL a safe haven and roll back and defeat them, but also strengthen the Syrian opposition and ensure a transition away from the Assad regime,” Biden told a joint news conference with Erdogan.

Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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