US Turkey Sign ‘Strategic Vision’ Document

WASHINGTON (Anatolia News Agency)– Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that they have agreed on common vision document between Turkey and the United States.

Following their meeting at US State Department on Wednesday–Gul and Rice held a joint news conference.

Gul said–"we have discussed Iraq–Iran–the PKK and Middle East problem as well as energy issues and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project which will be implemented soon. We would like to host a US representative during the inauguration ceremony of the pipeline."

When asked why Turkey and the United States needed a strategic vision document–Gul said that the strategic vision document reflects the shared values of the two countries like democracy–human rights and free market economy as well as the close cooperation–adding that they thought it would be beneficial to put these things down on paper and accept as a reference.

On the other hand–US Secretary of State Rice expressed pleasure about Turkey’s initiatives in the region–and said that they discussed the problems in the Middle East and the situation in Iran.

She stressed that Iran’should meet the deman’s of international community and show that it is sincere in this issue. Rice thanked Gul for the support he gave for extension of democracy in the region.

Rice said the strategic vision document underscores the mutual trust that exists between the two countries.

The document is a reminder that the relationship is broad and deep and based on shared values and interests–Rice said.

Stressing that Turkey-US relations continue on basis of strong friendship–strategic relation and dependence on common values–Rice noted that the vision document will have great contribution to regional and global stability.

Upon a question about PKK terrorism–Rice said that the United States defines PKK as a terrorist organization–and she made specific reference to the joint US-Turkish stand against the violence employed by PKK.

No one wants the PKK to carry out attacks anywhere–especially from north of Iraq–Rice said.

Upon a question–Rice praised the diplomatic efforts of Turkey with the Syrian government to ease accelerating tension between Israel and Palestine.

Rice noted that Turkish envoys have told Syrian authorities–as directly as possible–that they should use their leverage to secure the release of the Israeli soldier detained by Palestinians. Rice called the Turkish role very helpful.

She urged Israel and Palestine to show restraint in order to prevent a further deterioration of the situation.

The situation in Gaza is very tense–she said.

Rice noted that the United States exerts efforts for humanitarian aid to Palestine–adding that Hamas should fulfill its responsibilities as well.

Upon a question about Iran’s nuclear program–Rice warned Iran not to delay talks aimed at ending its nuclear program.

If indeed Iran is trying to stall–it’s not going to work–Rice said. She added–we need to know if the path of negotiation is open or not.

Rice said a substantive response from Iran was needed before the Group of Eight leaders meet later this month.

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