US, Turkish officials vow to improve ties
The third annual Turkic American Convention concluded yesterday with an Annual Gala as both sides praise the improving ties between the two countries. The Convention, which began on March 12 in Washington, D.C. in association with the Turkic-American Alliance (TAA) and the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSCON), was attended by over 1,000 Turkish, Turkic and American politicians, academics and businessmen. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, several senators from Washington, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Namik Tan, ambassadors of Turkic republics and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbaş also attended the gala. Both U.S. and Turkish officials praised the good relations between the two countries and vowed to improve ties. Tan said that the friendship, alliance and cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. were better than ever before. However, he added that economic ties between the two countries were not depicting the nature of their partnership yet and stated the importance of a free trade agreement. Highlighting the two countries' cooperation on regional issues without imposing their visions on each other, Tan said, "Turkey and the U.S. are completing each other regarding Arab revolutions, Syria, Iran, North Korea… We can sum the relations with three [concepts]: mutual confidence, unity over vision and close, effective cooperation," he said. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson also said that the relations between Washington and Ankara are experiencing their best period. "Dialogue at the highest level was practiced, even sometimes more than once in a day. Turkish-American relations look more like Washington's ties with its European allies," he said. The Turkic American Convention hosted leading policy makers from several countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and they discussed issues focused on energy, trade and development.