FM Davutoglu holds talks with US' Sec'y os State Clinton
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton in Washington over the weekend. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Clinton said that their meeting had been very wide-ranging and fruitful. "There are many things that we can do together," she added. "We have been cooperating for a long time. We are members of the NATO, and working together as part of the G-20 to respond to the ongoing global economic crisis." Clinton said that the US firmly supports Turkey's EU accession bid and welcomes its reform efforts towards this end. Touching on US President Barack Obama's landmark address to the Muslim world last week in Cairo, Clinton said, "The United States is determined to be in engagement with Muslims globally. Such an engagement is based on mutual interests and respect. We believe in freedom of religion and expression in dynamic societies. We know that such values are ones shared also by Turkey. At the same time, I would like to thank Mr. Davutoglu and his government for the important role Turkey played as a source of peace and stability." Stating that they had also discussed the Cyprus issue, Clinton said, "We support the ongoing talks between Turkey and Armenia towards normalized relations, and efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue." For his part, Davutoglu said that he was pleased to meet with Clinton, expressing his appreciation for Clinton's views on the region and bilateral and global problems. "We agreed to deepen and diversify bilateral relations between our two countries,” he said. "We plan to work together not only in security issues but economic and energy security as well. We discussed issues such as the Middle East, Caucasus, Black Sea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I noted that our two countries share parallel views on such issues. Turkey and the US carry similar views on global matters, relations between civilizations, the G-20 summit, the economic crisis and the UN Security Council. Our two countries can contribute to the peace and well-being of humanity." He added that Turkey places great importance on the stability of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and will continue to support these two countries. Asked about Obama's speech, Davutoglu said, "It dealt with understanding, vision and peace. We share the same vision." In related news, as the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments try to fight Taliban insurgents along their volatile border, Davutoglu will visit the two countries this week. Davutoglu's trip follows Turkey’s assumption of the UN Security Council presidency for the month of June. He is set to visit Pakistan on June 9-10 and Afghanistan on June 11-13. The potential for Turkey to provide counter-insurgency training for Pakistan’s military is expected to be discussed.