Obama voices support for talks on settling Kurdish issue
In an interview that appeared in the Milliyet daily on Sunday, US President Barack Obama praised Turkey's effort to settle Turkey's decades-old Kurdish issue. Noting that the US has always supported Turkey in its fight against terrorism and encouraged the steps Turkey has taken to deal with the issue through the use of politics, Obama re-affirmed that the US would continue to extend concrete support in this area. Regarding the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government's peace initiative, Obama expressed his belief that the proactive measures the government has been taking will achieve genuine progress in settling the Kurdish issue. Touching on the Syria issue, Obama described the situation in Syria as a tragedy, acknowledged that the end of the Assad regime will come, sooner or later and also re-affirmed his commitment to expend efforts with Turkey to that end. Obama also noted Turkey's request for Patriot missile systems and thanked Turkey for allowing these missiles to be deployed in its territory. Obama pointed out that the aim of the deployment is to protect Turkey, not Israel, against a ballistic missiles threat. Calling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a good friend and a great partner with whom he has been working closely on global issues, Obama said, "I very much look forward to seeing my friend Prime Minister Erdogan again."