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Americas

Clinton continues campaign to restore US world standing in Turkey

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Latest update : 2009-03-07

Hillary Clinton concludes her first European trip as US Secretary of State in Turkey. Aside from official meetings with Turkey’s president and PM, Clinton also plans to reach out to the Turkish people by appearing on a popular talk show.

REUTERS - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopes during talks with Turkey’s leaders on Saturday to bolster ties with the NATO member and help turn around a wave of anti-Americanism in the country, U.S. officials said.

“There is a chance to put us on a better footing in our relationship with Turkey,” said a senior U.S. official, who travelled with Clinton from Geneva where she had a dinner meeting on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

There has been a wave of anti-Americanism in predominantly Muslim Turkey, particularly following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The official, who declined to be named, said it was hoped the international goodwill that had flowed from President Barack Obama’s election would help to improve the U.S. image in Turkey.

Aside from official meetings with Turkey’s president, prime minister and foreign minister, Clinton also plans to reach out to the Turkish people by appearing on one of the country’s most popular talk shows, which is hosted by four women.

Her one-day trip to Turkey is also expected to focus on Ankara’s role in Middle East peacemaking, particularly in mediating indirect talks between Israel and Syria.

Clinton was in Israel and the West Bank earlier this week where she discussed Turkey’s role. She sent two U.S. officials to Damascus this weekend with the Turkish-mediated peace efforts on the agenda.

She also wants Turkey to be helpful in convincing its neighbours to allow their territory to become supply routes to Afghanistan where U.S. and other NATO forces are fighting a Taliban insurgency.
 

Date created : 2009-03-07

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