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08.03.2009 US & Canada

Turkey, U.S. to continue cooperation in fighting against terrorism


Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Saturday that Turkey and the United States will continue to cooperate in fighting against terrorism.

Babacan made the remarks at a joint press conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Turkey's and American's determination to carry on with their cooperation on the fight against terrorism was mutually expressed during the talks I held with the U.S. Secretary of State today," said Babacan.

The two countries would continue their joint efforts in fighting against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq, he added.

Babacan also said the two countries have common approach to intensify their bilateral talks in various areas.

"Both countries attached great importance to values such as democracy, human rights, freedoms, rule of law and free market economy," he said, adding that "we will be able to reach much better results in many issues by building up a closer cooperation. "

Babacan said political, economic and cultural matters, as well as the peace process in the Middle East, Israel's relations with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon and developments in Iraq and Afghanistan were on the agenda of their talks.

For her part, Clinton said that relationship between the two countries is an alliance, partnership and friendship, adding that the two countries stand side by side to overcome common difficulties.

"The new U.S. administration would work together with Turkish officials and create more opportunities in order to strengthen the ties between the two countries," she added.

Meanwhile, she said that U.S. President Barack Obama would pay 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.

The top U.S. diplomat 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.

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