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08.03.2009 US & Canada

Turkey, U.S. joint statement stresses close cooperation


Turkey and the United States released Saturday a joint statement reaffirming their determination to continue close cooperation and consultation on issues of common concern, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The two countries released a joint statement on the occasion of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's working visit to the Turkish capital of Ankara, said the report.

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan today reaffirmed the strong bonds of alliance, solidarity and strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States," the statement said.

"Turkey and the United States reiterated their determination to continue close cooperation and consultation on all issues of common concern, such as the fight against terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East and Turkey's EU membership process," it added.

According to the statement, the two countries pledged to contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East and to support a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution.

Meanwhile, the joint statement also noted that the two countries would work together on issues such as energy security, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the south Caucasus, continuation of cooperation in the Balkans, supporting the settlement of the Cyprus issue and enhancing their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, particularly against their common enemies PKK and al-Qaida.

Clinton arrived in Ankara early on Saturday aimed to boost bilateral relations with Turkey and try to rebuild a better image for the Obama administration in order to remove a wave of anti- Americanism that rose after the U.S. invasion in Iraq in 2003.

She revealed earlier in a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan that U.S. President Barack Obama would play a visit to Turkey in a month to discuss with Turkish leaders the safest and the most effective way to pull out U.S. troops from neighbouring Iraq.

Clinton met with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Babacan early in the morning. She was also received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul later in the day.