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The US and Turkey: Moving Forward Together
December 07, 2009
05:20 PM EDT
After meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, President Obama expressed his continued desire to move forward with a strong US-Turkey partnership. He stressed the enormous economic possibilities, highlighting trade ties between the two nations. The President also expressed a desire for Turkey’s support in curbing a nuclear program in Iran, and praised the Prime Minister for his country’s “outstanding” contributions to the US’ efforts in Afghanistan:
During the course of our discussions here, we've had the opportunity to survey a wide range of issues that both the United States and Turkey are concerned about. I thanked Prime Minister Erdogan and the Turkish people for their outstanding contributions to stabilizing Afghanistan. We discussed our joint role in helping Iraq achieve the kind of independence and prosperity that I think has been advanced as a consequence of the election law finally being passed over the weekend.
We discussed issues of regional peace, and I indicated to the Prime Minister how important it is to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capacity in a way that allows Iran to pursue peaceful nuclear energy but provides assurances that it will abide by international rules and norms, and I believe that Turkey can be an important player in trying to move Iran in that direction.
And we discussed the continuing role that we can play as NATO allies in strengthening Turkey's profile within NATO and coordinating more effectively on critical issues like missile defense.
I also congratulated the Prime Minister on some courageous steps that he has taken around the issue of normalizing Turkish/Armenian relations, and encouraged him to continue to move forward along this path.