U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Washington, D.C. June 5th to reaffirm longstanding ties and shared interests between their countries. Dr. Rice and Foreign Minister Babacan discussed a wide range of issues of concern to the region and the world. “I was especially glad to have a chance to also thank Turkey for its active diplomacy around the world, including the extensive discussion that we’ve had about the efforts Turkey is making to contribute to the comprehensive peace by sponsoring indirect talks between Israel and Syria,” said Dr. Rice.
The U.S. Secretary of State noted that in Iraq, “Turkey continues to be one of Iraq’s supportive neighbors working hard, as the United States is, for a unified and democratic Iraq that can be a stabilizing force in the region.” She said the U.S., Iraq, and Turkey are in agreement on the need to end the threat posed by the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, terrorist organization. “The PKK,” said Dr. Rice, “is an enemy of Iraq, it’s an enemy of the United States, it’s an enemy of Turkey, it’s an enemy of the region.”
Secretary of State Rice and Foreign Minister Babacan also discussed the importance of Turkey’s continued progress toward its domestic reforms. Dr. Rice reiterated U.S. support for Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Concerning Iran’s nuclear program, Dr. Rice said, “we can all insist that the Iranian government tell the truth to the world about what it’s been doing about cooperating with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]. All member states of the United Nations, she said, have an obligation to carry out the terms of UN resolutions and to use whatever offices they have with the Iranians to insist that Iran meet the obligations the UN Security Council has imposed.
The U.S. and Turkey, said Secretary of State Rice, “are good friends and good allies.”