WASHINGTON–Turkish President Abdulla Gul Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu will visit New York on September 20 to represent Ankara in the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Turkey’s Ambassador to the US, Namik Tan, told reporters on Monday, the Azeri News.az website reported Tuesday.
According to Tan, Gul and Davutoglu will use the opportunity to meet on the sidelines with a number of foreign heads of states as well as the American leadership.
Tan’s announcement comes a week after Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu traveled to Washington for a series of leadership-level meetings to discuss ways to overcome tensions in US-Turkish ties following Turkey’s vote against US-led sanctions on Iran at the UN Security Council and its worsening relations with Israel.
The Turkish Today’s Zaman reported last week that Sinirlioglu held talks on August 23 with US Undersecretary for Political Affairs William Burns, National Security Council Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, Special Envoy of the Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon.
News.az quoted Tan as saying that Sinirlioglu’s visit to Washington is an example of Ankara’s determination to “strengthen its relations with the United States, and improve relations with the US Administration and Congress.”
He stressed, in particular, the importance of Turkey’s efforts to improve relations with Congress, where anti-Turkish sentiments have been on the rise, according to News.az. “We believe that this is mainly due to the emotionality of some members of Congress, but we hope to solve these problems,” he said, referring to discontent in American political circles with Turkey’s ongoing belligerence toward Israel, a key US ally.
Tan said Israel remains a friend of Turkey, but noted unspecified “legal problems” between the two countries. “Turkey has no problems with Israel or with the Jewish people, he was quoted by News.az as saying. “We welcome the talks between Israel and Palestine.”