Apr. 7 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Istanbul for talks with Turkish leaders.
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Istanbul on Sunday (April 7) for talks with Turkish leaders as part of a trip to Western Europe and Asia to consult allies on issues including Syria's civil war. Washington regards Turkey, which shares a 900 km (560-mile) border with Syria, as a pivotal player in backing the Syrian opposition and planning for an era after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A month ago, on his first visit to Turkey since taking office, Kerry criticised Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for a comment likening Zionism to crimes against humanity, a spat that cast a shadow over talks between the NATO allies. But a few weeks later, U.S. President Barack Obama brokered a tentative reconciliation between Turkey and Israel during a trip to Israel. The rapprochement between the two U.S. allies could help regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war and ease Israel's diplomatic isolation in the Middle East.