The three-day conference brings together senior government officials and business figures from both Turkey and the US. Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman as well as 2008 Republican presidential hopeful John McCain are attending the conference.
Under the theme “Model Partnership and New Areas of Cooperation,” many issues are set to be discussed, including political and economic relations, as well as opportunities for cooperation in the areas of security, defense, banking, investment, finance, commerce, energy, agriculture, food, education, the European Union and foreign policy.
The ATC, whose members include top US and Turkish companies conducting business in both countries, aims to bolster US-Turkish political and economic relations. Some of the ATC’s members include top US defense contractors.
Turkey and the US have been able to spearhead international efforts to mobilize many nations for defense cooperation mechanisms on counterterrorism and regional conflicts. At the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) -- a joint US-Turkey body focusing on resource and knowledge-sharing and the formulation of new strategies in the fight against terrorism -- held in İstanbul last week, both nations agreed to take additional steps toward an effective and credible transition process leading to a democratic post-Assad Syria. One of such steps includes the agreement to convene a coordination group to provide support to the Syrian opposition.