Obama Says Ties with Turkey ‘More Important Than Ever’

ANKARA (AFP)—US ties with Turkey are “more important than ever” despite differences over Iran, President Barack Obama said, also urging Ankara to repair ties with Israel, in an interview published Sunday.

“Our shared interests, our shared values… undergird our relationship even when we disagree,” Obama said in written response to questions by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. “Given the increasingly complex challenges the world faces, I believe that US-Turkish cooperation is more important now than ever,” he said.

In June, Turkey irked the United States as it voted against fresh sanctions slapped on Iran by the UN Security Council, insisting that a nuclear fuel swap deal it hammered out with Tehran, together with Brazil, should be given a chance.

Its “no” vote came atop a severe crisis with one-time ally Israel after nine Turks were killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound activist ship. Obama told Hurriyet he remained “committed to a diplomatic resolution” of tensions over Iran, but stressed the Islamic Republic had failed to convince the international community that its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes.

“Iran has an opportunity to do that in the P5+1 talks in Turkey in January… There are ways we can move forward, but all parties must be prepared to take constructive approaches,” he said. Obama sought to downplay Turkey’s reluctance to back a tougher line on Iran, its eastern neighbor, which has sparked concern that NATO’s sole Muslim-majority member is sliding away from the West. “As with our other close allies and friends, we will sometimes disagree, as was the case on the vote on Iran sanctions in the UN Security Council.”

“Notwithstanding our differences about tactics, I firmly believe Turkey shares the goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran,” he said. Obama also urged Turkey and Israel to settle bilateral tensions and praised Ankara’s dispatch earlier this month of two aircraft to help fight a deadly fire in Israel, which led to a round of fence-mending talks between the two countries.

“Turkey and Israel are both key allies of the United States… I encourage both nations to do everything they can to repair their relations,” he said.

The US president also voiced confidence that the leak of US diplomatic cables by the Wikileaks website, which included scathing comments about Islamist-rooted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, would not damage ties.

Referring to a recent telephone conversation with Erdogan, Obama said that, “our partnership is resilient, and we agreed that the irresponsible acts of Wikileaks does not threaten it.” The cables said Erdogan lacks “analytic depth”, reads “minimally” and relies on an “iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors… which partially explains… his susceptibility to Islamist theories.”

Erdogan “hates Israel” on religious grounds, according to the diplomatic cables, which also included claims that he has eight secret accounts in Swiss banks.

Obama also reiterated support for Turkey’s troubled bid to join the European Union and its struggle against separatist Kurdish rebels, who take refuge in neighboring Iraq. He stressed however that Ankara should step up efforts to align with EU norms, expand the rights of Christian minorities and improve the freedoms and welfare of the Kurdish community.

Authors
Tags

Related posts

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

10 Comments

  1. Mike said:

    It’s like US President saying to Jews: “Sorry Jews, but right now we can’t afford to openly acknowledge Holocaust. Right now it’s really important for us to collaborate with regime that is responsible for Holocaust. We’re working hard to promote freedom around the world and this regime is our best alley. See, we need military air base to promote freedom and justice, which is located on stolen from you territory, right where your Holocaust happenned. But we truly believe that it would be just and fare if you straiten this out with this Nazis on your own. Leave us alone for god sake. Cheese…”

    Where is pride? Where is honor? Where is justice? Where are all those values that US is pretending to spread around the world? How can the President to be an open liar, promising one thing and doing directly opposite? There is only one way for this to happen. He is a poppet.

    He got no freedom of his own, he is not the President, just a mask.

    • ARN. said:

      HAVE YOU NOT HEARD THE DOCTRINE OF –

      “”” THE USEFULL IDIOTS “”” ???.

      Where are all those values that US is pretending to spread around the world? How can the President to be an open liar, promising one thing and doing directly opposite?

      IS IT NOT THOSE – USEFULL IDIOTS – WHO DOES JUST THAT ???.

      Arn of Sweden.

  2. ARN. said:

    BEVERE OF THE US AND TURKEY TOGHETER !!!.

    EVEN IF HALFHEARTEDLY – THE US WILL STAND TOGHETER WITH TURKEY IN A MILITARY CONFLICT – AND EVEN IF DRAGED INTO SUCH AN CONFLICT BY TURKEY.

    THE US WILL EVEN FORCE TURKEY INTO A MILITARY STAND AND CONFLICT WITH IRAN,
    IF AND WHEN THE US ENDS UP DRAGED IN A CONFLICT WITH IRAN BY THE ISRAELIS .

    IN SUCH A CASE IRAN WILL ( BE FORCED TO) SUPPORT THE KURDS,
    AND TURKEY WILL HAVE TO TAKE THE US SIDE AGAINST IRAN.

    ISRAEL COULD ALSO BE DRAGED INTO A WAR BY HAMAS – HIZBOLLAH – ANS SYRIA – IRANS PUPPETS,
    AND THE CIRCUS WILL OPEN TO A BIG MIDDLE EAST WAR.

    Arn Sweden.

  3. jacque said:

    Mr. president you should be more concerned about your relationship with the poeple whoe voted you in.
    you trick us once shame on you, you trick us twice shame on us.
    don’t expect to get the ARMENIAN VOTES next time arround. Atleast not mine and the 200 family members that I have. Good luck.

    • ARN. said:

      IT IS ONLY THE – USEFULL IDIOTS –
      THAT ARE TRICKED BY –
      USEFULL IDIOTS -,

      AND THOSE TRICKED ONCE,
      WILL ALWAYS BE TRICKED TWICE,
      WHEN THE NEXT – USEFULL IDIOT – COME.

      SHAME ON – !!!.

      Arn of Sweden.

  4. Seervart said:

    Mike, Forget pride or honor by Obama and the likes. You do have a good point though; imagine if he did the same to the Jews. They won’t let him, because the Jews are very strong in the US. We should have been stronger and condemn everyone in Congress and Senate that do not support the Armenian Genocide.

  5. Arn Sweden. said:

    A WERY INTERESTING ANALYSIS IN THIS REGARD,
    FROM SERBIANNA.COM –

    http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2514

    FURTHER –

    YUGOSLAVIA – READ FUTURE SERBIA –

    http://www.ourchurch.com/member/e/e/index.php?p=1_10_Yugoslavia

    IT IS THE SO CALLED ORTHODOX NATIONS,
    WHOM WILL STAND AGAINST THE TURKS AND ISLAM.

    THEY WILL EVEN STAND AGAINST THE SUPERSTATE EU,
    AND NATO ALSO,
    WHICH SOON WILL BE CRACKED BECAUSE OF THEIR MEMBERS GOING ON THE PREY.

    WHEN WAR BREAKS OUT IN THE MIDDLE EAST,
    IT WILL DO SO IN THE BALKANS ALSO.

    Arn.Sweden.

*

Top