Turkey's virus guidelines sensible, working: US envoy

Turkey's virus guidelines sensible, working: US envoy

Turkeys virus guidelines sensible, working: US envoy

The U.S. ambassador in Ankara on May 21 praised Turkey's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the guidelines are "sensible" and "working."

"We have high regard for the care and attention that Turkish officials have given to protecting all those who live in Turkey from this disease," David Satterfield told Anadolu Agency.

Saying that the U.S. Embassy and Consulate communities are following Turkish Government guidelines, Satterfield added: "They’re sensible and appear to us to be working."

"We all hope for a period when COVID-19 is something in the past, as opposed to dominating everything about the present," he added.

Satterfield said so far over 400 US citizens and legal permanent residents have departed Turkey, adding that most of them left on one of the special Turkish Airlines-organized flights to the U.S. and Canada.

"None of this could have happened without the active engagement, help and support of the Turkish Government and in particular, Turkish Airlines. We're very grateful for that," he said.

Asked whether the cooperation displayed by Turkey and the U.S. during the pandemic could be an opportunity to advance bilateral relations between the two countries, Satterfield said the U.S. expressed its appreciation for Turkey's
help at the highest levels.

"As I said in late April after Turkey sent two planes with medical supplies to the U.S., 'close coordination among like-minded allies and partners is key to developing a swift and effective response.' That applies more broadly to bilateral relations too," he said.

Calling the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey "strong," the ambassador stressed that Turkey is one of the US' most important allies.

The U.S. hopes “that the ties between us will continue to expand, grow, and find a path forward on overcoming existing issues as rapidly as possible," he concluded.