Alliance with Turkey absolutely vital, says senior US diplomat
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
“The alliance between the U.S. and Turkey is absolutely vital,” said U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland, speaking at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington on Nov. 13. AA photoThe U.S.-Turkish alliance is “absolutely vital” despite the existence of some disagreements, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.
“The alliance between the U.S. and Turkey is absolutely vital, not just for the two of us, and our security, but now as an engine around the turbulent region,” said Nuland, speaking at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington on Nov. 13.
“We’re not always going to see perfectly eye to eye on the tactics, but we always agree on the larger strategy. So it’s a matter of maintaining that open dialogue on what is to be done,” she said.
Her remarks came as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is expected to pay a visit to Washington on Nov. 18. Nuland also reaffirmed U.S. support for democratic developments in Turkey. “We obviously stand on the side of those Turks who want more openness, more press freedom, want accountable government. We’ll never be shy about saying that. And I think that the beauty of our alliance is we can be honest when we disagree,” she said.
Praise for Cypriot leaders
The assistance secretary, meanwhile, praised Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, who – pushed by the promise of sharing rich untapped gas resources – were showing renewed commitment to ending their long bitterness by seeking to reach a bi-zonal, bi-communal agreement.
“Today both the leadership and the shared interest are in place for a comprehensive settlement. This moment must not be squandered,” Nuland said. A settlement of the decades-old Cyprus problem “would have a profoundly positive effect across the eastern Mediterranean,” she said.