Obama Gives Erdogan the 'Hug Treatment'

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(Weekly Standard) Tangi Quéméner's pool report from the G-20 in Cannes, France: [President Obama] entered the room at 1:15 and took to his left, heading to Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. They chatted for a few seconds before British Prime minister David Cameron joined them. Hard to understand what they were saying amid the cameras noise. POTUS then took a stroll to Australian Premier Julia Gillard who got a hug as European president Herman van Rompuy, European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan were watching. Eventually the Europeans got a handshake but Erdogan got the hug treatment. POTUS then walked all the way around after noticing that "people are really far away around there". He stopped for quick handshakes and reached out to President Hu of China, telling him 'ni hao' (hello). They cordially shook hands and posed for photographers...POTUS then greeted his Argentinian counterpart Cristina Kirchner who just got reelected without runoff. Angela Merkel was just congratulating her (in English). "So Nicolas, we all have to take lessons" of Kirchner's victory, joked POTUS, who's up for reelection in '12, as Sarkozy is (next May). Isn't this whole scene pretty standard for President Obama? The Europeans get a handshake and the Islamist Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gets a hug. And all the president seems to have in mind is campaign politics and his reelection effort.

WASHINGTON (JTA) --Seven Jewish House members urged President Obama to conduct an intensive review of the country's relationship with Turkey.
"It appears that our long-standing ally in Ankara is drifting toward confrontation with our closest friends and allies," said the letter sent Wednesday by the lawmakers, all Democrats.
The signers are U.S. Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee; Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), members of the Foreign Relations Committee; Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
"In response, the United States needs to undertake an urgent review of our relations with Turkey and our overall strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean," the letter said.
The letter referred to Turkey's expulsion of the Israeli ambassador after a United Nations investigation partially vindicated Israel in its May 2010 raid on a Turkish-flagged aid ship headed to the Gaza Strip -- the raid resulted in a melee that killed nine Turks -- as well as what it said were aggressive Turkish postures toward Cyprus and the European Union.
Separately, Engel and Berkley called for a suspension of sales of military equipment to Turkey.
"We urge our Congressional colleagues to join us in rejecting any attempt to supply weapons to a country that is threatening some of America’s closest allies and supporting terrorist groups like Hamas," they said in a statement.
The Turkish charity that organized the May 2010 flotilla is believed to have ties with Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

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