World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu noted in a recent article for Foreign Policy magazine ahead of his visit to US capital Washington on Monday that the US and Turkey have long been, and will continue to be, close allies.
“In today's ever more complex and fluid international environment -- with Syria in crisis and much of the Middle East in flux -- the U.S.-Turkish relationship remains vital for a sustainable regional and global order,” he wrote.
He disputed analyses of increased distance between the regions by asserting, “As I prepare to visit Washington, I disagree with the perception that United States and its Middle Eastern allies are growing apart.”
He continued to explain: “The partnership between the United States and Turkey is value-based, founded upon universal principles of fundamental rights and democratic norms. Turkey promotes these values in its neighborhood and encourages its Western partners to uphold them as well. Alignment with the West during times of crisis, such as the Arab Spring, is testament to how deeply such shared values are embedded in the genesis of our foreign policy. On that ground, the United States and Turkey do not have the luxury of remaining aloof or apart from each other; our joint work has proven indispensable to regional security and stability. As a result, we have diversified our cooperation with the United States in areas ranging from counter-terrorism and non-proliferation to defense cooperation, energy security, know-how transfer, and more.”
NATO the cornerstone of Turkish security policy
Stressing that Turkey's leading role in transatlantic institutions is a primary pillar of its foreign policy, he expressed his belief that the country would play a more constructive role in shaping the future of Europe at a time when the region is recovering and becoming stronger.
In addition to the opening of a new chapter in Turkey's EU accession negotiations, there are also signs of progress towards the liberalization of EU visa regimes for Turkish citizens traveling to EU countries, Davutoglu added.
“NATO, meanwhile, stands as the cornerstone of Turkish security policy and our security cooperation -- from the Balkans to Central Asia -- continues to form a bulwark against instability in the broader region,” he wrote.
Addressing the negotiations between the US and EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) process, he stressed the initiative would gain great richness through the inclusion of Turkey.
Noting that Turkey and the US are coming face-to-face with an increasingly chaotic geopolitical environment in the Middle East and North Africa, Davutoglu said:
“The tensions we are witnessing in this region -- which is overwhelmingly identified with human suffering, political and sectarian conflicts, and threats to global order -- initially grew out of popular uprisings for dignity, legitimacy, and prosperity. As a result, they should also be viewed as the birth pangs of an inescapable normalization. The people on the streets have set in motion a powerful transformative process. Any return to the old regional order is now inconceivable, and those who have tried to resist change will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
He underlined that the region's future would not be determined by “strongmen with dictatorial illusions,” but by legitimate and visionary leaders. Davutoglu conveyed that Ankara and Washington share the same goals regarding the Middle East.
"We will not become casualties of the ongoing psychological war"
Regarding the civil war in Syria, Davutoglu wrote, “In Syria, progress toward the elimination of Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons is a step in the right direction, but there is still more to be done. Turkey will continue to extend its full support to the Syrian people until a political transition is achieved and the rule of cruel despotism comes to an end. We will not become casualties of the ongoing psychological war that in vain tries to identify the Syrian people's legitimate resistance with the dark forces of terrorism.”
Touching on the issue of the radicalization of the Syrian opposition, he said that despite Turkey's early and numerous warnings, the international community had failed in finding an adequate solution.
Indicating that political transformations were taking place in neighboring countries, he concluded the real challenge in coming years would be the establishment of a stable regional order.
“In the years following the end of the Cold War, we both contributed to the stabilization of regional hotspots, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. Today, we share the new collective consciousness urging good governance and democratic accountability in our part of the world. This awareness should form the basis of a strong U.S.-Turkish partnership as we work to deal with the urgent challenges in this era of global transformation.”Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2013, 12:31