WASHINGTON (Hurriyet)–Senior Turkish and U.S. officials are meeting in Washington DC Monday to discuss their countries’ political, defense, and business relationships during an annual two-day conference designed to boost cooperation between the two allies.
Hosted by the American-Turkish Council, the annual conference on U.S.-Turkish relations is a forum for government and military officials, business leaders and academics to discuss issues and opportunities to boosting the two nations’ political and trade ties. This year’s conference is the 28th meeting organized by the group and takes place approximately two months after President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey.
Top Turkish officials attending conference were Chief of General Staff General Ilker Basbug and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Basbug will also meet this week with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and visit a number of U.S. military facilities.
The two men will be keynote speakers at the ATC’s opening dinner Monday night. Davutoglu, who was appointed foreign minister by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a Cabinet reshuffle at the end of April, will also meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this week. Davutoglu will speak at the ATC conference on Tuesday. Egemen Bagis, the Turkish state minister responsible for European Union relations, and Transport Minister Binali Yildirim are also attending the conference.
US Democratic Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will address the conference Tuesday as well. Obama’s visit aimed to restore the U.S.-Turkish ties that were damaged during former Republican president George W. Bush’s term, mainly due to disputes related to the Iraq war. The ATC, whose members include major U.S. and Turkish companies doing business in each other’s countries, seeks to boost the two nations’ political and trade ties.