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Rice On U.S. - Turkey Shared Vision

Speaking to the American-Turkish Council in Washington, DC, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. and Turkey “share a commitment to a united Iraq, that is secure, stable, prosperous, at peace with its neighbors, and free from all forms of terrorism:

“Let me be very clear: the United States recognizes the P-K-K as a common enemy of Turkey, Iraq, and the United States. Our nations, together with our European partners, are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the P-K-K’s safe haven in Northern Iraq and to cut off its criminal and financial networks in Europe. At the same time, we are working for positive change in Iraq to ensure the stability of Iraq through the neighbors process.”

In Afghanistan, said Ms. Rice, the U.S. and Turkey are working side-by-side:

“I was just with my Turkish colleagues, including President [Abdullah] Gul and Foreign Minister [Ali] Babacan in Bucharest last week with our NATO allies to reaffirm our long-term commitment to Afghanistan’s success. Turkey has been integral to NATO’s success in supporting the Karzai government, in limiting the Taliban’s influence, and in providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for the Afghan people. Together we recognize that sustainable democratic development in Afghanistan is the key to sustainable peace.”

Turkey and the U.S., said Ms. Rice, have been promoting economic freedom, open markets, and increased trade around the world. The growth of both economies, she said, “increasingly depends on new, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly sources of energy.”

Eight percent of the world’s oil transits Turkey each day. “Turkey and the United States,” said Ms. Rice, “are now building on the success of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, and we are developing a new generation of natural gas infrastructure that will help Europe secure its energy supplies at prices set by markets, not by monopolists.”

Secretary of State Rice said the “United States and Turkey will from time to time disagree on how best to pursue our goals.” This happens among friends, she said. But, said Ms. Rice, “we will always do so remaining firmly united by our shared democratic values, like tolerance and respect for human dignity and human rights.”