Turkish Strategy: Intimidate Obama

WASHINGTON (Hurriyet)–Seeking to intimidate Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama into silence on the Armenian Genocide, the foreign policy advisor to Turkey’s Prime Minister met on Tuesday with Obama advisors in Washington DC, warning them that any move that ‘harms’ Turkey will derails the development of Turkish-Armenian relations, reported Hurriyet.

"Steps that would harm Turkey should be avoided if the aim is the development of Turkish-Armenian relations," Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, told reporters in Washington.

"We are in an era in which mutual confidence based relations between Turkey and Armenia have started. A wrong step not only harms cooperation between Turkey and the United States, but also risks such expansions from Turkey," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu’s remarks came after he met U.S. officials, and advisors of both U.S. presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain.

There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. Turkey maintains that relations cannot be established until Armenia end its campaign for international recognition of the genocide and accepts a resolution to the Karabakh favoring Azerbaijan.

“Such remarks are made in the presidential election campaign. But when you take over the administration, you need to be interested in all problems in the world,” Davatuglu said, referring to Sen. Obama’s longstanding support of Armenian American issues.

Davutoglu, who also met with top White House officials, said Turkey expects The U.S. “to refrain from jeopardizing cooperation with a strong strategic ally like Turkey.”

Davutoglu earlier on Tuesday attended a conference on "Turkey, the region and U.S.-Turkey relations: Assessing the challenges and prospects" at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

He said at the meeting that a new era with the United States would be a success story for whichever candidate was elected on November 4.

"The new president of the United States will be Turkey’s best friend," Davutoglu said.

He also said Turkey was ready to discuss “negative problems” with Armenia, adding that the two countries should seize recent opportunities in their relations.

Davutoglu said he expected that the Armenian Diaspora should support the process between Turkey and Armenia, and said this new process had not caused concerns in Azerbaijan and relations among Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan would go on synchronously.

He said there is a need for courage and creativity to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that no one can wait 20-30 years to resolve the issue.

Davutoglu said all frozen conflicts were occurring in the geography where Turkey was situated, and said the real problem was how a new world order could be established.

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