World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday congratulated Turkey’s President-elect, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on his electoral victory in the country’s first direct presidential election.
In a phone call, Obama “praised the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday and noted that as Turkey’s first directly elected President, the Prime Minister has an historic opportunity to further move Turkey forward,” according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.
"The president praised the prime minister's speech on Sunday and noted that as Turkey's first directly elected president, the prime minister has an historic opportunity to further move Turkey forward," the White House said in a statement.
"The president and prime minister agreed on the importance of close cooperation on Syria and Iraq and the terrorist threat emanating from the region," the White House said.
The call lasted 45 minutes, according to Turkish sources.
In his first address to his supporters following his victory, Erdogan vowed to strengthen the Turkish democracy and to continue to support the ongoing "solution process" in the country. He also vowed to pursue a period of reconciliation in Turkey.
The election was widely seen as a referendum on Erdogan's leadership as prime minister and head of the ruling party.
“The President welcomed Turkey’s humanitarian aid to vulnerable Syrians and Iraqis, and both agreed on the need to ensure cooperation and such assistance continue,” according to the White House.
The leaders also discussed ceasefire efforts in the Gaza Strip and "expressed hope that a new Iraqi government will bring all communities together."
World leaders have given their congratulations to Erdogan since Monday, after he received nearly 52 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off, according to Turkey's Supreme Election Board. Erdogan was elected to a five-year term as president.
Erdogan last month acknowledged strains in his relations with Obama, saying he no longer spoke directly to the U.S. president as he had in the past.
But Turkey remains a key member of the NATO military alliance and a strategic ally for Washington in the turbulent Middle East, with common interests including energy security and the fight against terrorism.Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2014, 13:51