MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded an apology from US Vice President Joe Biden Saturday following comments suggesting Turkey and other regional nations were largely to blame for the rise of the Islamic State (IS), the Financial Times reported.
"If Biden said such a thing, he is history to me," Erdogan was quoted saying in reaction to Biden's comment that the Turkish president allegedly told him, "you were right, we let too many people through [to join the IS]."
Erdogan denied ever saying that to Biden. "I have never said to him [Biden] that we [Turkey] had made a mistake, never. If he did say this in Harvard, then he has to apologize to us," the Turkish leader said.
"Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms," Erdogan added.
Biden made his comments during a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday also saying that the allies of the US (referring to the Middle Eastern Powers) were Washington's "largest problem with Syria".
Prior to the spread of Biden's remarks, he had also spoken to Erdogan by phone to further discuss their joint efforts.
Meanwhile, the role of Turkey, as a member of NATO, in the US-led coalition against the IS has been in question. This led Turkey's parliament to approve on Thursday the use of its territory and airspace for foreign militaries in fighting the IS.
In the coming week, US retired General John Allen, who is currently Washington's anti-IS coordinator, is to visit Turkey to urge it to take a more active role in the fight against the IS, according to the Financial Times.
The IS extremist group has proclaimed a caliphate on the vast areas it had seized across Iraq and Syria. The United States and its allies have been carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq since August. In September, the US-led coalition started conducting attacks against the IS in Syria.