US positive on sale of UAVs to Turkey: Gül
CHICAGO - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish President Abdullah Gül (L) shake hand with US President Barack Obama while they meet in Chicago on May 21. AA photo
The United States administration views the sale of unmanned aerial vehicles to Turkey with favor, President Abdullah Gül said May 21 after meeting with President Barack Obama in Chicago on the sidelines of the NATO summit.
“In fact, the U.S. administration’s stance is positive. They are trying to convince the U.S. Congress” about the sale of unmanned aerial vehicles, Gül told journalists at a press conference. Noting that Turkey was also buying F-35 and F-16 jets from the U.S., Gül responded to worries from some in the U.S. who claim Turkey should not be given the vehicles, saying that if the UAVs were dangerous vehicles, then F-35s were even more dangerous. “This should be told to the U.S. Congress in this framework. Such a significant ally [Turkey] should not be treated with jealousy and should be trusted.
As you know, President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are trying their best,” said Gül.
Attack on Iran on no one’s agenda, Gül says
Gül said no one was considering attacking Iran. “Iran’s nuclear program issue began to improve recently in Istanbul.
Everyone will go to Baghdad on May 23 with positive thoughts on Iran,” said Gül, adding that Turkey’s contribution to this issue was not negligible. Gül and Obama discussed the Syrian issue extensively in their meeting on May 21. “We have reminded our counterparts that the issue of Syria was one that concerns the international community, and that is why international observers were sent to the country,” said Gül, also reiterating that there should be more than 300 U.N. observers in the country.
Syria issue discussed
Gül said he told everyone that the matter should not be viewed as an issue between Syria and Turkey. All states at the NATO conference praised Turkey’s stance on Syria, Gül said. “We told them that you have to show your promises openly.”
Gül said he discussed Turkish-Israeli relations with Obama. “If someone asks us to repair ties with Israel, we interrupt his words, even if he is President Obama,” said Gül, adding that Israel should be asked to repair relations with Turkey. Relations between the two old allies have been tense since Israeli commandos killed nine Turks on a flotilla aiming to break the embargo on Gaza in May 2010.
Obama said that an improvement in Turkish-Israeli relations would have a positive impact on the Arab Spring process. Gül said Israel knew the steps they had to take, and if they did take those steps, Turkey would act accordingly. On Cyprus, Gül said he told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Turkey will discuss alternatives if the negotiations failed.