U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Right before their meeting, Secretary Kerry attended a memorial service for Mustafa Akarsu, the very brave security guard who gave his life in order to save the lives of many other people at the U.S. Embassy in the February 1 attack.
Secretary Kerry underscored the United States’ strong support for Turkey, a NATO ally, in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, including al-Qaida, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front, and the PKK, among others.
Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Davutoglu went on to discuss how the international community can come together to support the Syrian people in an effort to create a political transition and provide the Syrian people with the safety, security, and freedom that they deserve. The United States and Turkey believe that there is no legitimacy in a regime that commits atrocities against its own people.
“I want to thank Turkey,” said Secretary Kerry, “for its clear leadership and its determination to help us end this bloodshed. And I’m grateful for the humanitarian support that your country has provided.” Turkey is serving as a refuge for hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
The United States and Turkey have over the years established a $20 billion trading relationship. Both countries are looking for ways to further increase bilateral trade and investment opportunities.
In their discussions, Secretary Kerry emphasized the importance of strengthening the protection of fundamental rights, the freedom of expression, and freedom of the media. “History has proven decisively,” said Secretary Kerry, “that nations that work constantly to safeguard these rights, democracies, people who respect basic freedoms are far more successful, far more stable, and far more prosperous.”
The United States and Turkey will be tackling very tough issues together in the days ahead. “I’m confident,” said Secretary Kerry, “that we can work our way through moments of difficulty in order to grow the relationship and produce results.”