Main opposition leader’s US trip on hold

Main opposition leader’s US trip on hold

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit to the United States, which was scheduled for November, has been postponed, party officials have confirmed.

Kılıçdaroğlu was planning to hold a visit to the United States in an effort to boost his party’s international visibility, however, the much-anticipated visit will not take place until after the March 2014 local elections.
In order to test the waters in the U.S., the CHP’s two deputy chairs, Faruk Loğoğlu and Umut Oran, paid a visit to Washington on Sept. 23 and 24 and held a number of meetings including with U.S. Senator John McCain.

“We could not arrange the desired-level meetings in the U.S. Political conjuncture in the U.S. is not convenient at the moment regarding budget tension between Democrats and Republicans as well as the government’s shutdown,” Loğoğlu was quoted as saying by daily Akşam on Oct. 13.

Loğoğlu, nevertheless, said that the “level of the prospective meetings” did not come into question for Kılıçdaroğlu’s U.S. trip, speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News. The election campaign for the March 2014 local elections would put pressure on Kılıçdaroğlu’s schedule in the coming days and a trip to the U.S. was less likely before elections, Loğoğlu added.

“Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit is being anticipated in the U.S. We observed it during our latest trip to Washington and New York. Senator John McCain and American-Turkish Council chairman Richard Armitage both told us in our meetings that such a visit would be very useful,” Loğoğlu said.