By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
The critical point at which US – Turkey relations is at was thoroughly assessed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US counterpart John Kerry.
The key issues discussed where developments in Syria, Iran, Egypt and the Cyprus issue.
Sources say Kerry asked for tighter controls on the Syria – Turkey border to stop the help reaching Islamist extremist rebels fighting Assad.
The Turkish minister reportedly assured Kerry that Turkey is trying to stop any support and is working towards a ceasefire in the neighboring country.
Americans, meanwhile, expressed their satisfaction that the Erdogan government is starting to edge closer to the Obama foreign policy “line”.
In recent weeks, Ankara has refrained from verbal attacks on the Sisi military regime and interfering with developments in Egypt. The postponement of Erdogan’s visit to the Gaza strip as well as scenarios to transfer Israeli natural gas through Turkey which have surfaced, please Washington.
Another issue that is thought to have been discussed is Ankara’s decision to purchase a long-range anti-aircraft system from China. The US expressed their opposition to this in every way possible. Davutoglu appears to have presented Ankara’s plan to extend the relevant competition to the end of the year in order to attract offers from other countries.
On the Cyprus issue, the US Foreign Minister called all parties to “take advantage as much as possible to current window of opportunity and restart substantive talks on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue. (…) Our Ambassadors, who are at the center of these initiatives, continue the process. Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot negotiators are making significant progress”.
Interestingly enough, Davutoglu made no comment on the Cyprus issue.
Kerry stressed the US – Turkey relations are “vital” on many different levels.
Another Turkish official, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, will visit the USA in a few days.
Next week the chairman of the Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kilincaroglu, travels to Washington for talks with several US officials.