US eager to work with Turkey on Iran, official says
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Sinirlioğlu (L) met with Burns, Deputy Secretary of State. Burns said US has desire to work with Turkey on Iran.The United States wants to work with Turkey on the Iranian issue, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said during a visit with Turkish officials, adding that Ankara and Washington shared concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran has failed in its responsibilities to disclose its nuclear activities, Burns told Anatolia news agency yesterday.
“We want to work with Turkey and with our other partners to try to drive this home to the Iranian leadership.”
Touching on recent U.S. sanctions against Iran and Turkey’s attitude in regard to implementing those measures, Burns said the sanctions were a means to an end and noted that the Iranian leadership must live up to its international responsibilities and obligations.
Turkey is an important model for the region, Burns said, adding that Washington had consequently attached great importance to working with Ankara for the transformation of countries in the Arab world.
“All of us are concerned about the dangers of polarization, whether this is along sectarian lines, or other lines in the region. I think Turkey offers a very important model of a state built on economic success,” Burns said while noting the importance of building a strong democracy and attempting to contribute to stability and prosperity elsewhere in the region.
It is extremely important for the U.S. to work together with Turkey to encourage successful democratic transitions in Arab Spring countries that have already experienced a revolution, such as Egypt, Tunisia or Libya, he said.
Burns said he and his Turkish counterparts also discussed “serious common concerns about Syria and the importance of putting an end to the [Bashar] al-Assad regime’s violence against its own people” to bring about “a rapid democratic transition.”
Addressing recent sectarian tension in Iraq, Burns said the U.S. military withdrawal from the country did not mean the end of Washington’s commitment to Iraq and its stability.
It is in the interest of the U.S. and Turkey to do everything they can to support Iraq’s stable, political evolution while assisting its efforts to avoid a reappearance of sectarian violence and tension, he said.
“That is the message we continue to reinforce to Iraqi leaders across the political spectrum,” he said.