Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Commented: Readout of President Obama’s Call with Prime Minister Erdogan

Readout of President Obama’s Call with Prime Minister Erdogan

President Obama spoke by phone today with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey on a range of bilateral and regional issues. The President affirmed the value he places on a strong, mutually respectful bilateral relationship with the Republic of Turkey and expressed his view that Turkey can demonstrate leadership in the world through positive engagement.  (Obama asks Erdogan to be positive & constructive while engaging w/the world, instead of scolding so that he can claim a leadership. It's now open-secret that Erdogan's engagement w/the rest of the world, during Egypt coup, Gezi Protests, finally the corruption/graft case cannot be qualified as constructive.)

The President and Prime Minister agreed on the importance of close cooperation between our two countries to address the growing terrorist presence in Syria and on the shared interest in continuing efforts to advance a political solution to the Syria conflict. (Obama's first direct emphasize on "terrorist presence in Syria" while speaking to Erdogan. Apparently Obama thinks Erdogan can do better to address this problem. And referring the political solution. Straight American arguments on Syria.)

The President and Prime Minister discussed the importance of encouraging Baghdad and Erbil to find common ground on energy issues and supporting the agreement they achieve.  (Obama reiterates the same US position that PM Erdogan should seek consent of Baghdad over the energy issues while dealing with Erbil.)

The President thanked the Prime Minister for his constructive role in the effort on Cyprus to renew negotiations for a settlement.  (One and only thanks to Erdogan from Obama in the readout) The Prime Minister noted the launch ceremony for the Boeing 737 Peace Eagle on Friday

The President and Prime Minister spoke about the importance of quickly concluding the normalization agreement with Israel. (Obama is clearly not satisfied by how the 'normalization process is going. Also recent consensus between Israel-Turkey on a text to normalize relations now again on hold. Before the local elections at the end of the March, observers think Erdogan is not thinking to move forward to normalize the relations. Another request or homework for Erdogan/) 

The leaders also discussed the need for strong, sustainable, and balanced growth in the global economy, and the President noted the importance of sound policies rooted in the rule of law to reassure the financial markets, nurture a predictable investment environment, strengthen bilateral ties, and benefit the future of Turkey. (The final sentence of the readout seems to me the most important one. This sentence implies that the recent bills/legislations ought to be in line w/rule of law.. Clearly referring to recent policies after the graft/corruption case, purging judiciary members and security forces in addition to Internet (censorship) bill, Judicial (HSYK) bill, now the new Intelligence bill. Obama reminds Erdogan about the rule of law, o/wise Erdogan's risking country's investment climate, financial markets.. also Obama warns that the sound policies rooted in the rule of law necessary to ... strengthen bilateral ties w/the US.) 

Though, at the end, talking to the US Pres is a plus for the AKP gov. and they will use the call domestic purposes as well. 

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