Talbott Encourages Armenia Turkey Relations

ISTANBUL (Marmara)–The Washington-based correspondent for the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily newspaper reported that US Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott voiced severe criticism of Turkey’s human rights record and urged friendly relations with Armenia during a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Wednesday.

In his remarks Talbot said that time had come for Turkey and Armenia to establish stable relations.

Talbott stated that on the issues of democracy and human rights Turkey clashes with the US and other ally nations. This–Talbot said–has resulted in criticism of the US for its support of Turkey.

The State Department official noted that defense of human rights was high foreign policy priority for the US.

He cited the closure of the Turkish Islamist party and the sentencing of Istanbul Mayor for Islamist beliefs as examples of Turkey’s flawed rights record.

Talbott noted that defending human rights and democracy were universal principles and urged Turkey to adhere to international norms.

Talbott added that the US was encouraged with Turkey’s war on terrorism–but did not condone its use of military in resolving the Kurdish conflict of the southeastern Turkey.

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