Biden apologizes to Turkish leader

Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenElection Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight Obama to speak at campaign rally for Nevada Dems Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign MORE apologized on Saturday for comments he made this week implying that Turkey or other U.S. allies had helped Islamic extremists in Syria.

Biden spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogann "to clarify comments" he made that Turkey made mistakes by helping in the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups in the region, The Associated Press reported.


"The vice president apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria," the White House said.

Erdogan had angrily denied making the comments and demanded an apology. 

He said Turkey had never provided “even the smallest amount of support” to the ISIS or any other terrorist group.

Biden said on Thursday that his “old friend” Erdogan had admitted to making a mistake in allowing foreign fighters to cross the Turkish border into Syria, during a speech at Harvard University. 

Biden said that Erdogan said: “You were right. We let too many people through. Now they're trying to seal their border.”