Davutoglu: "Turkey's ties with the US continue on normal course"
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said ties with the US are continuing as normal, dismissing allegations that the powerful US-based Jewish lobby has made it difficult for Turkey to purchase US military hardware. "Turkey’s US ambassador, Namik Tan, has already made a statement and said there was a misunderstanding," Davutoglu said during his visit to the border province of Iğdır on Wednesday, while campaigning for the constitutional reform package referendum slated for Sept. 12. While speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday, Tan said claims suggesting the imposition of an "arms embargo" by the US against Turkey were "groundless." Davutoglu also said the efforts of Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu were continuing in Congress regarding Turkey’s defense requirements. Speaking about peace and stability in the Caucasus, Davutoglu said had he talked on the phone with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, and Nakhchivan Parliament Speaker Vasif Talibov, and they all expressed a desire for peace in the region. The foreign minister later on Wednesday passed through the Dilucu border gate, connecting Turkey and Azerbaijan along an 11 kilometer border, to Nakhchivan to have talks with Nakhchivan officials. Davutoğlu told reporters that Nakhchivan shares the same fate as Turkey and that Turkey will always stand by the autonomous republic. After returning from Nakhchivan to Igdir, Davutoglu told reporters that Igdir is a strategic province in that it sits at the nexus of four countries (Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey). "Once peace and stability is maintained in the Caucasus, the Igdir gate will be the most important door in Asia," Davutoglu said. Asked about Tuesday’s deadly skirmish between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Davutoglu said Turkey was doing its best to avert a similar incident occurring. "We are closely following the developments and we will have a meeting with Azerbaijan. For a lasting peace in the Caucasus, the restitution of occupied Azerbaijani territories and the solution of the Karabakh conflict are necessary," Davutoglu stated. Azerbaijan said three Armenian and two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in an exchange of gunfire along the northern Nagorno-Karabakh frontline on Tuesday in the latest skirmish between the two warring sides.