Biden to visit Turkey in January

Biden to visit Turkey in January
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Vice President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE will travel next month to Turkey, a U.S. partner in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

Biden is tacking on the trip to a previously planned visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the week of Jan. 17, his office said Wednesday. 


The vice president will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other officials. 

The visit comes as the Obama administration is pressing the Turkish government to step up its efforts to combat ISIS, which controls large swaths of territory in neighboring Syria.

U.S. officials have urged Turkey to seal its border with Syria in order to shut down smuggling routes used to funnel foreign fighters and weapons to ISIS.

Turkey has bristled at American support for Kurdish forces fighting the terror network in northern Syria. The Turkish government has fought skirmishes with Kurdish separatists in its own country for decades.

Concerns about spying could inject additional tension into the meetings. The Obama administration declined to put Erdoğan on a list of allied leaders protected from National Security Agency surveillance, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.