ANKARA (Hurriyet)—Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has denied the existence of any long-lasting diplomatic crisis with the United States, either currently or in the past, saying the two countries’ strategic priorities and approaches actually overlap.
“No long-lasting crisis has occurred between Turkey and the U.S., neither in the past nor now,” Davutoglu said in an interview with CNNTurk television late Wednesday, adding that the strategic priorities and methods employed by the United States, and the language used by U.S. President Barack Obama, had much in common with Turkey’s approach.
The foreign minister said no problem has occurred in Turkish-U.S. relations in the wake of Turkey’s “no” vote against the sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.N. Security Council. He added that the uranium swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil, known as the Tehran Agreement, did not lose its meaning in the wake of the sanctions vote and was still valid.
“The process has already begun, and technical negotiations have been underway,” Davutoglu said. “We agreed in principle that a meeting could take place in September. But the date can change. Both parties want Turkey to be involved in the process.”
Following his trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Iran and Brazil on Sunday, Davutoglu said a meeting between Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and the EU’s foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton, could take place in early September.
In the interview with CNNTurk, Davutoglu also touched upon the terrorism issue, describing the country’s fight against terror as the most vital issue on the agenda.
“We want to maintain our fight against terror without narrowing democracy and making any restrictions about human rights,” he said.
When asked a question about the Israeli raid on the flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza, Davutoglu said: “As the government, we made all necessary warnings. But we do not have the right to prevent a nongovernmental organization [from organizing the flotilla]. Israel today experiences the biggest isolation in its history since it has contradicted with the conscience of humanity.”