Foreign Ministry working on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit: Davutoğlu
Turkish media reported Kerry would make his first visit to Ankara sometime in February. REUTERS photoTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has confirmed that recently appointed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make one of his first foreign visits to Turkey. Speaking to reporters in Ankara after returning from Paris where he attended the international conference on Libya, Davutoğlu said both foreign ministries have started efforts for planning the visit.
“In our phone conversation, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said he wanted to visit Turkey at the first opportunity. The visit is certain, but our teams are working on the exact date for that,” said Davutoğlu. Turkish media reported Kerry would make his first visit to Ankara sometime in February, while Israeli media wrote Kerry would visit Israel and Palestine in the same period.
Davutoğlu stated last month that he expected Washington to take a more efficient position with regards to developments in the Middle East and Syria following the appointment of the new U.S. administration. Tension between the two administrations had flared after a row broke out over U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone’s criticism regarding the Turkish judicial system.
Ricciardone’s remarks were slammed by government officials and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) senior delegates. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had also strongly reacted to the U.S. envoy’s words on Feb. 9. “No one should be mistaken about our patience, tolerance and friendliness. Turkey is not anybody's scapegoat,” Erdoğan had said.