Davutoglu dismisses talk of crisis with the US
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday denied the existence of any sustained diplomatic crisis with the United States, either now or in the past, saying the two countries' strategic priorities and approaches instead overlap. "No sustained crisis has taken place between Turkey and the US, either in the past or now," Davutoglu told a televised interview, adding that the US' strategic priorities and methods and the language used by US President Barack Obama share much in common with Turkey's approach. He said no problem in Turkish-US relations has emerged since Turkey voted against new UN sanctions on Iran at the UN Security Council. He added that the uranium swap deal brokered in May by Turkey and Brazil, known as the Tehran Agreement, didn't lose its meaning in the wake of the sanctions vote and was still valid. "The process has already begun, and technical negotiations are underway," Davutoglu said. "We agreed in principle that a meeting could take place in September. But the date could change. Both parties want Turkey to be involved in the process." Following his trilateral meeting with Iran and Brazil's foreign ministers last weekend, Davutoglu said a meeting between Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton could take place in early September. Touching on the terrorism issue, Davutoglu called Turkey's fight against terrorism the country's most critical issue. "We want to maintain our fight against terror without compromising democracy or restricting human rights," he said. Asked about Israel's deadly May 31 raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza, Davutoglu said: "The government gave all necessary warnings. But we didn't have the right to prevent a nongovernmental organization (from organizing the flotilla). Since it offended the conscience of humanity, today Israel is facing the deepest isolation in its history."