Top diplomat due in Washington next week

Top diplomat due in Washington next week

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Top diplomat due in Washington next week

Feridun Sinirlioğlu. AA photo

Feridun Sinirlioğlu, one of Turkey’s top diplomats, will conduct two days of talks in Washington starting Jan. 14 following current consultations at the Kremlin, according to diplomatic sources.

Sinirlioğlu, the Foreign Ministry’s undersecretary, is expected to arrive in Washington on Jan. 13 and start his meetings with his counterpart, Deputy Secretary William Burns, on Jan. 14, concluding them Jan. 16.

The talks will focus on a broad range of issues including turmoil in Syria, tension in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program and the implementation of sanctions and other bilateral and international issues. Cooperation in the field of combating terrorism will also be on the agenda.

One of the most immediate issues to be discussed between Turkish and U.S. officials will be Turkish energy companies’ activities in northern Iraq, as Washington fears the contacts could push Baghdad closer toward Tehran and threaten Iraq’s unity.

Turkish diplomats, however, do not believe the issue should be a source of deep disagreement, although they have acknowledged that the matter requires further dialogue.

“We do not see eye to eye on every issue with the U.S., and the energy security issue regarding northern Iraqi resources is one of the issues we want to continue to discuss with Washington,” said a source on condition of anonymity.

Sinirlioğlu is not expected to meet with the new secretary of state, John Kerry, during his time in Washington.