Remarks With Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu After Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Chief of Mission Residence
Paris, France
January 12, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much. I think Minister Davutoglu is going to lead off with a statement, then I’ll respond. And thank you all for being here.

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Thank you very much, John, for hosting us here in American Embassy in Paris. Of course, we are going through a historic time. Critical processes are continuing. And Turkish-American cooperation is strategically important. It has been important throughout the decades, centuries, but now Turkish-American cooperation, strategic consultation, is very important on different issues.

Today, I had the honor to meet again with my dear colleague, Secretary Kerry. And we went through future agenda, very comprehensive issues, of course starting with Syria. Turkey and the United States working together for last three years to help Syrian people on humanitarian ground, as well as for the realization of the Syrian people’s aspirations.

Today, we had the Friends of Syria group meeting. And in coming Geneva II talks, Turkey and United States, we will be working together to make this a successful process and meeting, and we decided today how to work together next – one week until – 10 days, almost, until Geneva II meeting.

Also on – in the region, there are other important transformations. I am grateful to John because of his briefing about his visits to Israel and Palestine and regarding Middle Eastern peace process. As Turkey, we support this process and we support your efforts, John. And whatever Turkey can do for any peaceful initiative in the region, we are always ready to work.

Also, we support P5+1 Iran talks and the engagement with Iran and to solve the nuclear issue, which is – which will bring a new situation on the ground.

Also, I think today we shared our common approach regarding the situation in Iraq. We support Iraqi democratic process for elections and fight against terrorist groups as well as sectarianism. And inclusive process in Iraq is a must, and we will definitely support all inclusive processes.

We also shared our views on Cyprus, which is in a critical state regarding for a peaceful settlement on the island. And we are grateful for American support recently to mobilize the negotiations, and we will continue to work together.

Of course, for Turkey, United States is a strategic ally, and we will continue to work together. Our bilateral relation is going very well, and these consultations are important for us, for Turkey, for United States, for the region, and for the international peace, regional and international peace.

Again, thank you very much for this opportunity, John.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much, Ahmet. I don’t know if you want to say anything about our conversation briefly on the subject of Turkey-U.S. and the internal politics. Or do you want me to do that?

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Yeah, you do that. If needed, I can explain.

SECRETARY KERRY: Of course. Well, let me, first of all, thank Foreign Minister Davutoglu, my friend, Ahmet. He and I have worked as closely together on a number of issues as any other foreign minister, and I’m very grateful to him for the many initiatives on which we have been joined together. He’s mentioned many of them just now.

We talked several times even this week about our common approach to the issue of Syria and Geneva II. And Ahmet has reached out on his own in very creative and energetic diplomacy to work with the opposition and to help us all to be united as we move towards this important meeting.

In addition to that, he’s been an important interlocutor with respect to Iraq, our common interest in stabilizing Iraq, trying to reduce the violence, find a way towards better governance that can reduce the tensions between groups in Iraq, and also deal with the issue of oil and revenues and distributions.

We also have a strong supporter for the P5+1 process on Iran, and we appreciate Turkey’s influence there.

We also talked about a relationship with Israel and the future relationship hopefully with Turkey, to try to continue down the road to get that on track.

We did also talk about the importance of both of our commitments to rule of law and to democracy and to the process of both of our countries respecting each other’s political process. And I think the minister understood and made it clear that the United States of America has absolutely no interest in being caught up in or engaged in or involved in the internal politics, the election process of Turkey. And we are not. And I think the foreign minister understands that.

And so what is important is that we continue to value publicly and to make sure the people of both of our countries understand our commitment to the strength of the relationship between Turkey and the United States, two important allies, two friends who’ve worked very hard to solve problems, not create them.

And I’m grateful to the foreign minister for his categorical statement about U.S.-Turkey relationship with respect to issues of rule of law and democracy, our commitment to it, and our respect for the fact that the United States is not engaged in that kind of activity, and we need to calm the waters and move forward to focus on the things that both of us want to make a difference on. I think – is that a fair --

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Yes. That’s right. You are right, and I fully agree. As I always say, Turkey and United States, Turkish-U.S. relations, one of the most structured and well structured relations in international relations. And this has been the case for the – throughout the difficult years of Cold War and throughout the post Cold War years, when we worked together in Balkans, in Afghanistan, everywhere in the world. And this relation is based on mutual respect and a very close consultation in all fields.

And Turkish democracy is a very mature democracy. And in that sense, Turkish-American relation, with special reference to democratic values everywhere, not only in our countries but everywhere in the region and in Europe and everywhere, is the most important value. We will continue our cooperations, political cooperation, based on these common values and for the future of world where there will be peace and stability.

Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Ahmet. Thank you very much.


SECRETARY KERRY: And we’ll be meeting – we’ll be seeing each other in a few days.

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Yes, in a few days, and several telephone calls.