US and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria

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.