Senior official says Turkey, US have dialogue despite differences

The U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs said on Wednesday that Turkey and the United States had an ongoing dialogue.

Senior official says Turkey, US have dialogue despite differences

The U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs said on Wednesday that Turkey and the United States had an ongoing dialogue.

Assistant Secretary Philip Gordon said there was no other country in Europe than Turkey with which the United States had that much open and ongoing dialogue.

Speaking at the German Marshall Fund, Gordon said Turkey and the United States had "many common interests and policies" although they had some differences of opinion on some issues.

Gordon said Turkey and the United States were thinking similarly on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, however they had differences of opinion on whether or not Iran had fulfilled required criteria regarding this matter.

The assistant secretary said the two countries were "behaving sincerely" towards each other regarding Iran's nuclear program.

Gordon said Turkey and the United States also had some differences of opinion regarding the Israeli attack on "Mavi Marmara" aid ship and Hamas, however they were sincere to each other.

The assistant secretary enumerated Turkey's relations with Armenia as another different perspective between Turkey and the United States, and said his country was supporting the normalization process between the two countries.

Gordon said the normalization would be beneficial to both countries and the region, which was also an idea supported by the Turkish government.

The assistant secretary said he did not agree with claims that Turkey turned its back to the West.

Gordon said Turkey was interested in the Middle East for a long time, and Turkey had always stood close to the United States and the West.

Turkey was still interested in European Union (EU) accession process, he said.

Gordon said the EU should take some steps to get Turkey's focus back on the process and underlined importance of encouraging Turkey.

Turkey's EU accession depended on both Turkey and the EU, however the United States continued to support Turkey, he said.

Gordon said the EU would get stronger with a Turkey, which had fulfilled EU membership criteria.

The United States' dialogue with the Turkish government was not in line with the view that Turkey had been distant from the West, Gordon said.

Gordon said all remarks of Turkey had indicated that it was still seeing itself as a distinguished member of NATO, it was eager for EU membership, and it attached importance to cooperation with the United States.

Also, Gordon said the United States was trying to establish a model partnership with Turkey, and attached importance to its relations with that country and the views of the Turkish people.

Gordon defined U.S. relations with Turkey as important and strategic, and said that relationship was "fruitful" for both countries.


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Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2010, 10:02
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