ISTANBUL (Armenpress)–Turkish president Abdullah Gul arrived in the United States Tuesday for a scheduled visit with President Bush to discuss bilateral ties, ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two NATO allies.
Gul departed Monday from Ankara and was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler and Economy Minister Mehmet Shimshek. Ahmet Davutulu, the chief foreign policy advisor to the prime minister, and Rear Adm. Alaattin Sever, the head of the General Staff’s Intelligence Department, will also accompany the president during his visit.
Gul is also expected to discuss with American officials the adoption by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Armenian Genocide resolution last October, reported the Turkish Daily Zaman. Gul will ask the US administration to continue with its efforts to prevent the resolution from being passed.
The Turkish President is also scheduled to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his five day visit.
After talks with top members of the US administration, Gul will meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday evening in New York and discuss prospects to restart UN-led efforts to reunite Cyprus. He will also meet with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke, a former US assistant secretary of state, as well as representatives of Jewish American groups, including the Anti-Defamation League. Gul is also expected to meet representatives of Meskhetian Turks living in the US.
President Gul’s visit to Washington comes two months after a meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and US President Bush on Nov. 5. He is the first Turkish president to visit the US in 11 years.
Praise and appreciation for US efforts have recently replaced complaints due to intelligence assistance provided by the United States for Turkey’s ongoing air strikes against the PKK in northern Iraq.