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In Obama meeting, Turkey touts diplomacy for Iran nuclear program

Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Obama Monday that diplomacy is the only way to solve the issues of the Iran nuclear program. But Obama and others are beginning to lose patience with Tehran.

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President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (left) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Monday.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told President Obama Monday that the issue of Iran's nuclear program can be solved only through diplomacy – just as the Obama administration and other international powers are beginning to lose patience with Iran.

Mr. Erdogan sat down for lunch with Mr. Obama at the White House at a time when the United States is questioning some of the foreign-policy directions of the NATO alliance's only Muslim-majority member.

Chief among those concerns are Turkey's blooming relations with Tehran. The Obama administration would also like to see Turkey reverse its refusal – as a fellow Muslim country – to participate in combat operations in Afghanistan.

On Iran, Obama said, Turkey could be an "important player in trying to move" the country toward a diplomatic solution over its nuclear program.

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