US and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria

US and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul November 22, 2014.

ISTANBUL - US 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.

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the US-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.

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