Turkish foreign minister comments on relations with United States
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that the president-elect Barack Obama and the new U.S. administration would pursue a more successful foreign policy if they pursued a policy based on consultations.
"Turkey and the United States have common issues like Iraq, Middle East, Caucasus and Balkans but the only difference Turkey has is that it is closer to this geography in every sense," Babacan told an exclusive interview on the private Kanal24 TV channel.
Babacan said that Turkey had cultural and historical ties with regional peoples, and was sharing its views as a country knowing the region well.
Also, Babacan defined the security deal signed between Iraq and the United States as a positive development that made definite the date when the U.S. troops would leave Iraq.
Babacan said that Turkey had relations with both the central government of Iraq and the regional administration in the north of Iraq.
The Turkish foreign minister said that the stance of the regional administration in north of Iraq on the terrorist organization PKK was important, and Turkey had seen a positive development in their stance even if it was not so big.
Babacan said that Turkey's message regarding the terrorist organization was very clear, and it was a terrorism problem accepted by the entire world.
"Therefore, every one has to do what s/he has to do against the terrorist groups," Babacan said.
The minister said that Turkey had maintained talks with the Iraqi government and the United States, and representatives of the regional government in north of Iraq also participated in those talks.
Babacan said that Turkey "had no hesitations about whether or not to hold talks" with the regional administration in north of Iraq.
The Turkish minister said that the former stance of the regional administration made talks impossible in the past, but the steps the administration had taken created conditions for face-to-face talks.
"We care about taking results," he said.
Babacan said that Turkey was using every means necessary to achieve its goals.