Obama names Turkish PM Erdoğan among trusted friends
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey and US relations visibly improved in 2011, reflected by the Obama-Erdoğan friendship, despite strained relations between US ally Israel and Turkey. AP photo
U.S. President Barack Obama named Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan among the five leaders that he has established relations based on confidence, in an interview with Time.
In an interview with Fareed Zakaria, the Editor-at-Large of Time magazine, Obama named Turkish PM Erdoğan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and British Prime Minister David Cameron among leaders that he was able to forge "bonds of trust."
Responding to a question on whether his style of diplomacy was “very cool and aloof,” and that he does not “pal around” with his counterparts, Obama said that the “friendships and the bonds of trust” that he has been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is “precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.”
“I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, we have a lot of trust and confidence in the President,” Time quoted the U.S. President as saying. “That’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done.”
Obama noted that the U.S. alliances with NATO, Japan, South Korea, our its close military cooperation with countries like Israel have “never been stronger.”
“In the United Nations, not only do we have a voice, but we have been able to shape an agenda,” Obama said. “And in the fastest-growing regions of the world, in emerging markets, in the Asia-Pacific region ... countries are once again looking to the United States for leadership.”