Biden discussed in Turkey ISIS and transition of power in Syria, away from Assad.

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
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
US vice-president Joe Biden on Saturday warned that a concentration of powers under a head of state was “corrosive” as he visited Turkey – which has been accused of increasing authoritarian tendencies.

Biden made the remarks before meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in August became the Turkish president after more than a decade as prime minister. Critics have accused Erdogan of seeking to centralise powers in a powerful presidency, which until he took office was largely a ceremonial role.

At a joint news conference held after a four-hour talks session, Biden said he and Erdogan had discussed a transition of power in Syria, away from President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the US-led coalition against Islamic State (Isis) 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 [Isis] 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 said.

Earlier, speaking to an umbrella group of Turkish civil society groups known as the Checks and Balances Network, Biden noted that in the US the three branches of power – presidency, legislature and judiciary – are equal in status.

“Our founders concluded that a concentration of powers was the most corrosive thing that can happen to any system,” he said. “We still believe that,” he added.

Biden did not specifically refer to Turkey in his remarks, which were open to the press ahead of a closed-door meeting, saying he was not in Istanbul to “proselytize”. But he added: “The best way to preserve freedom is not to have too much power concentrated in any branch of government.”

He said his own insistence on the issue was so great that Barack Obama “joked with me that I thought Congress should have more power than he does”.

If he serves two presidential terms, Erdogan could stay in power until 2024. His party is hoping to win a large majority in Turkish legislative elections next year, in order to change the constitution to a more presidential system. Critics have accused Erdogan of seeking to diminish the importance of the Turkish parliament and also seeking to make the independent judiciary far more pliant.

Biden also called on Europe to continue diversifying its energy supplies in order to reduce dependence on Russia, which he said should not be allowed to use its vast gas and oil resources as a geopolitical tool.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council’s energy security summit, Biden said: “Now, now, now is the time to act. What’s happening in Ukraine only underscores the urgency.”

Russia, Ukraine and the European Union last month thrashed out a $4.6bn deal that will guarantee Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and further on to the European Union. The deal eased fears that Europe will end up shivering this winter like it did in 2009, when a spat over Ukraine’s gas bill prompted Russia to cut off energy supplies to Europe for nearly two weeks.

Moscow had cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June over unpaid debts, a move that followed the ouster of Ukraine’s Russia-friendly leader and the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea in March. Talks dragged on for five months amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian insurgents and government troops. But the looming onset of winter a fierce, freezing season in Ukraine gave the talks increased urgency.

“We have been aware that this single source of energy has been a problem for a long time,” Biden said. “But my message is not that Europe can or should do away with Russian imports.”

He said he had no doubt that Russia would continue to be a main energy supplier in the region.

“This is about energy security. To achieve it, Europe needs to ensure it diversifies,” Biden said. “Russia can and should be a player, but Russia has to play by the rules.”

Guardian

  • wargame1

    I have found a prophesy about the Turk Roman alliance against the Sufyani in Syria.

    Artat bin Al-Munzir said: “If the Turks and Romans (in alliance) amass their armies and a village in Damascus experiences Khusf (land collapse), and a group of people fall off the western end of their mosque, then three banners will be raised in AshSham (Syria) : Abqa’, As’Hab (reddish, white man), and Sufyani. A man in Damascus will be besieged, then killed with those who are with him. Two men from Bani Sufyan will appear, the second one will be the victorious. Once the support armies of Abqa’ approach, the Sufyani defeats them. He (Sufyani) will kill the Turks and Romans in Qirqisia (an ancient city in Eastern Syria) until the foxes in the land satisfy their hunger from their flesh (of the Turks and Romans).” (Nuaim bin Hammad’s Kitab Al-Fitan)

    Questions;
    Which village in Damascus will experience the land slide?
    “Western end of the Mosque” which mosque?
    I have found hadis about a land slide in Harasta a town in Al-Gouta in Damascus
    The western end of the mosque is referring to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and its western side is the Jewish wailing wall OR it may referring to the Grand Mosque in Damascus i.e. Umayed Mosque.
    “Two men from Bani Sufyan will appear” :If Assad is the second Sufyani then the third one will appear at this time

  • wargame1

    Who is sufyani? In my openion Assad is the second Sufyani and his daddy was the first sufyani. The Third Sufyani is yet unknown. There are many hadis about sufyani. Here is one.
    Al-Harith bin Abdullah said: ” A man from the progeny of Abi Sufyan comes out, from the drought valley, with (an army carrying) Red banners. He has thin arms and thin legs, with long neck, very yellowish (meaning pale) in complexion, on him (can be seen) the mark .” (Nuaim bin Hammad’s Kitab Al-Fitan)

    حدثنا أبو عمر عن ابن لهيعة عن عبد الوهاب بن حسين عن محمد بن ثابت عن أبيه عن الحارث بن عبد الله
    يخرج رجل من ولد أبي سفيان في الوادي اليابس في رايات حمر دقيق الساعدين والساقين طويل العنق شديد الصفرة به أثر العبادة

  • wargame1

    Mohammad bin Al-Hanafiya said: “The People of Maghreb enter Damascus Mosque and while they are looking at its marvels, there will be a land tremor so the western part of the Mosque will collapse and there will be a Khusuf (land collapse) in a town called Harasta. Then, the Sufyani comes out and fights them until he pushes them back to Egypt. Then, he returns and fights the People of the East until he pushes them back to Iraq.” (Nuaim bin Hammad’s book Kitab Al-Fitan)

    People of Magreb are the people from the West i.e. Morocco Algeria Tunisia.