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Will Kerry Convince Ankara on Syria?

Semih Idiz writes that Ankara’s resistance to a negotiated outcome in Syria could lead to differences with Washington and perhaps to Turkey’s marginalization in efforts to end the war.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London on February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool    (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3EABJ

Newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected in Ankara soon, a key stop on a nine-country tour, during which the main topic of his discussions will undoubtedly be Syria, even if Turkey and the United States have other issues to consider. Although the two countries have closely coordinated on Syria in the past, differences have started to emerge on how the crisis should end, a fact that will no doubt focus added attention on the talks Kerry has with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.

Turkey has been watching US efforts to push for a negotiated settlement to the Syrian crisis with some concern. The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to believe that the Syrian opposition can prevail if it receives the necessary military support from the West. President Barack Obama, however, has refused to send arms to the opposition, despite strong recommendations to do so by the Pentagon, State Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

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