Turkey's Sinirlioğlu meets with top US officials
AA PhotoThe undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, has discussed Syria, Iran, Iraq and the Middle East peace process with his U.S. counterpart and other senior officials.
Besides U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Beth Jones and Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual attended the meeting at the State Department in Washington.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said they had talked about Syria, Iraq and the importance of international solidarity in Iran and efforts to promote Middle East peace. They also discussed U.S. support for Turkey’s efforts to combat terrorism and to deepen justice and rule of law in Turkey and to bolster U.S.-Turkish economic ties, according to the State Department website. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also stopped in to say hello to him during the meeting, according to Nuland.
One of the most immediate issues to be discussed between Turkish and U.S. officials was expected to be Turkish energy companies’ activities in northern Iraq, as Washington fears the contacts could push Baghdad closer toward Tehran and threaten Iraq’s unity.
Asked whether Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was in the building, Nuland said: “Whenever we meet with Turks, the issue of Israel usually comes up. And whenever we meet with Israelis, the issue of Turkey usually comes up.” But she said she did not have anything specific on the Ayalon meeting. “But usually we are, as allies of both countries, trying to support increased dialogue and better relations between them,” she added.
Ties between Turkey and Israel came to an all-time low after Israeli commandos raided a flotilla bound for Gaza and killed nine Turks on the Mavi Marmara ship in 2010.