VP and Rafik Hariri Center Director Francis Ricciardone joins NPR Weekend Edition to discuss the US-Turkey alliance against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
I’m Scott Simon. Perhaps the most confounding element in the fight against the group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, is Turkey – a U.S. ally. Or is it really? Or at least do the interests of Turkey match up with those of the United States?
Francis Ricciardone was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey until this summer. He’s now director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and joins us from his office in Washington, D.C. Thank you for being with us.
FRANCIS RICCIARDONE: Delighted to be with you today, Scott. Thank you very much.
SIMON: Based on your experience with the Turkish government, are we talking about a real alliance here?
RICCIARDONE: I think we’re talking about a pivotally important alliance going back many years through many changes in the complexion and the issues that we face together in that region.