Vice-President Joe Biden adopted a conciliatory tone in Turkey's capital city on Wednesday in apologizing for President Barack Obama's inability to solely execute an extradition order as per the Turkish government's demands. Speaking in Ankara, Turkey, Biden declared that the Obama Administration would do everything possible to cooperate with the Turkish government’s demands for the extradition of a man it accuses of masterminding last month’s coup attempt.
Politically prostrating himself before his nearest Turkish counterpart Prime Minister Binali Yidirim, Biden explained that American presidents are not solely vested with the power of extradition.
“Under American law, no President of the United States has the authority to extradite anyone on his own power. That, only an American court can do that. Were a president to attempt to do that, it would be an impeachable offense. But we have no reason to do anything other than cooperate with you and take every substantiating fact and make it available to the extent it exists to an American court.”
Just seconds before feeling the need to explain to a Turkish audience that American governance does not vest such power in one person, Biden claimed that the rule of law was a foundational principle of both American and Turkish societies.
Biden then waxed apologetic over American jurisprudential requirements related to extradition while pledging full cooperation with the interests of the Turkish government.
“The United States government is committed to do everything we can to help your government, Mr. Prime Minister. To bring those to justice who are responsible for the coup attempt.
Gulen, Mr. Prime Minister, I understand the intense feeling your government and the people of Turkey have about him. We are cooperating. We are cooperating with Turkish authorities. Our legal experts are working right now with their Turkish counterparts on the production of and the evaluation of material and evidence that needs to be supplied to an American court to meet the requirements under our law in the Extradition Treaty to extradite Gulen. And we’re going to continue to do so as you continue to bring forward additional information. We have no, no, no, no interest whatsoever in protecting anyone who has done harm to an ally. None. But we need to meet the legal standard requirement under our law.”
No information was provided related to the evidence against Gulen.
U. S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands before a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Biden called on Turkish authorities on Wednesday to be patient with the U.S. legal system as Turkey seeks the return of the cleric accused of masterminding last month's failed military coup, Fethullah Gulen, saying the extradition process would take time. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service Pool via AP)
Indulging anti-American speculation endemic to Muslim-majority societies that the United States government had any knowledge of or complicity in last month’s coup attempt, Biden denied such assertions.
"Any speculation, some of which I have heard as to whether or not the United States had some advance warning, the United States had some foreknowledge, the United States had some complicity - he United States of America did not, did not, have any foreknowledge of what befell you on the fifteenth."
Watch Biden's virtual supplication below.
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