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U.S. And Turkey Work Together

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, April 7, 2013.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu discussed terrorism, Syria, and Turkish-Israeli relations.

On his most recent trip to Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu discussed a broad range of topics including countering terrorism, ending the violence in Syria, and improving Turkish-Israeli relations.

U.S. And Turkey Work Together
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In his press briefing, Mr. Kerry took a moment to pay tribute to the 25-year–old U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff who was murdered by the Taliban. Mr. Kerry described Ms. Smedinghoff as "a selfless, idealistic young woman who. . .set out to bring textbooks to schoolchildren. . .to help them build a future." She and those with her were attacked by Taliban terrorists who went out not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy, said Mr. Kerry.

This act represents the vilest manifestation of terrorism. But as the world will have learned by now, said Secretary Kerry,. . .America does not and will not cower before terrorism: "We are going to forge on, we're going to step up we're going to continue to do the work that we do to try to improve the lives of other people."

Turkey and the United States discussed efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms. The U.S. applauds the work of the Turkish government to peacefully try to end the violence that has plagued Turkey for thee long decades. The U.S. welcomes the PKK's commitment to lay down its arms. A lasting peace, said Mr. Kerry, will improve the lives of all of Turkey's citizens.

The redrafting of Turkey's constitution is a prime opportunity to lay the groundwork for a shared future for all Turks. Secretary Kerry reiterated the importance of protecting the universal rights and fundamental freedoms in a constitution that reflects Turkey’s remarkable diversity.

With regard to Syria, the U.S. and Turkey continue to work together towards the shared goal of a peaceful transition within Syria. Turkey has generously kept open its border with Syria, allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee the ever worsening humanitarian situation inside Syria.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the United States is hopeful that the agreement to normalize relations between Turkey and Israel will strengthen security and cooperation across the region.

Turkey continues to be an important partner for the United States in the effort to counter terrorism, foster a rapid and peaceful transition in Syria, and promote peace in the greater Middle East.