BAKU; Envoy’s Recall ‘Does Not Help’ US-Turkish Relations

March 18 2010

Philip Gordon A senior State Department official said on Wednesday
that Turkey’s ambassador to the USA should be in Washington to explain
Turkey’s cause.

Philip Gordon, assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of
European and Eurasian Affairs, spoke to reporters prior to a conference
jointly organized by Sabanci University and the Brookings Institute.

Gordon expressed his regret at Ankara’s recall of ambassador Namik
Tan after a US congressional committee’s adoption of a resolution
describing the killings of Armenians in 1915 as ‘genocide’.

He said he would like to see Tan in the US capital, as the Turkish
ambassador’s presence in Washington D.C. would help Turkey explain
its cause.

Gordon said the ambassador’s withdrawal did not contribute to
Turkish-US relations and harmed cooperation between the two countries.

The US official also said that the adoption of the resolution by the
US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs had not been
beneficial for relations either.

Gordon said the US administration had clearly and consistently
expressed its objection to the resolution.

He also said the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia
was the best way to deal with history.

Noting that the process was not happening as quickly as they would
like, Gordon said both countries were committed to the process and
the USA was ready to extend any kind of help.

Asked about Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent
remarks on the status of the 100,000 Armenians living illegally
in Turkey, Gordon referred to Erdogan’s remarks that he was not
threatening to deport them.

Gordon said the USA would like Erdogan to attend the Nuclear Security
Summit in Washington in April.

Gordon also said that Iran’s nuclear program was a major issue
in Turkish-US relations, and therefore, he would like the Turkish
ambassador to be in the US capital to discuss the issue.

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