ANKARA: No clue on what ‘model partnership’ means

Hürriyet, ANKARA
April 18 2009

No clue on what ‘model partnership’ means

ANKARA – Turkey is uncertain what the U.S. president referred to when
describing the relationship as a ‘model partnership.’ The Foreign
Ministry penned a wide-ranging memo on the outcomes of Obama’s visit
that stated ‘no information on the substance of a model partnership’

Turkey is still uncertain to what U.S. President Barack Obama
referred to when he described relations between Turkey and the United
States as a "model partnership."

The Foreign Ministry has just completed a broad memo on the outcomes
of Obama’s visit to Turkey on April 6 and 7, after analyzing the full
records of his meetings with President Abdullah Gül and Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄ?an. One interesting point is that
Obama did not actually use "model partnership" during the talks but
mentioned it in the joint press conference with Gül. American
diplomats both in Ankara and Washington prefer to use the concept of
"strategic partnership," according to the memo. It also noted "there
was no information on the substance of a model partnership."

On the possibility of recognizing the 1915 Armenian killings as
"genocide" in the presidential statement expected to be issue on April
24, the ministry believes Obama will not risk losing Turkey and thus
will not categorize the killings as genocide. Obama’s emphasis on the
mutual efforts of Turkey and Armenia to normalize ties is evident to
this end, the ministry believes.

The ministry said it was not thinking that Obama’s much-criticized
description of the Kurdish minority was on purpose. On Iran, Obama
said the U.S. intention to talk to Tehran does not mean that
Washington would ignore current problems stemming from Iran’s
potential nuclear work.

Meanwhile, the U.S. top general Micheal Mullen is planned to visit
Turkey next month to discuss the fight against terrorism. The visit
would be coupled with that of Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, who
would raise Washington’s request to use Turkish territory during the
withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Obama assured Turkey that "the
intelligence sharing mechanism" will go along and that utmost
cooperation will be provided to Turkish military.

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