Prof. Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy advisor of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was in Washington on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey, seeing top White House officials.
At a press conference in Washington Davutoglu said that there has been differences of opinion between Ankara and the previous US administration, but with the new Obama team he has found out that foreign policy objectives of the two allies are now completely coinciding.
Responding to arguments back in Turkey that Obama’s demands from the Turkish government during the Ankara talks might put Turkey in a difficult position, Davutoglu said, “Nobody can commission us, we are just playing our historical role.”
Davutoglu met with James L. Jones, the National Security Advisor of President Obama, George Mitchell, the special US envoy to the Middle East and other officials.
“During the term of the previous president Bush we had differences of opinion with the US. Syria was an example. Now with the Obama administration’s approach we see that Turkey’s policies are almost on parallel lines. Turkey’s foreign policy activities in the Middle East, Caucasus and Afghanistan are appreciated here,” said Davutoglu.
He also pointed out that former US president Bill Clinton visited Turkey on the seventh year of his presidency and George Bush came to Istanbul during his fourth year in the office.
“President Obama will pay his second bilateral visit to Turkey after his first to Canada. This shows the importance that US gives to Turkey. President Obama’s decision to visit Turkey is the sign of the beginning of a historical period in constructive cooperation in the relations of our two countries,” said Davutoglu. “Everybody now sees that Turkey’s strategic importance has increased greatly,” he added.
Davutoglu said that work is underway on a scenario in the interests of all the parties in the Caucasus. He emphasized that the passage of Armenian Genocide bill in the US Congress would harm this process.
Erdogan’s chief foreign policy advisor also told journalists that sending Turkish combat troops to Afghanistan was not discussed during his talks in Washington.