U.S. Washington, Dec. 7 / Trend K.Pashayeva /
The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) organized a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan in Washington today. Diplomats, U.S. State Department officials, scientists, diaspora organization representatives and media attended the event titled, "The Importance of Political and Economic Ties Between Turkey and the U.S. and Ankara's Role in the World in the Current Situation."
Erdogan noted that Turkey is a supporter of peace and always works in this direction. The minister's speech was mainly devoted to relations between Iran, Israel and Turkey.
According to Erdogan, Iran is Turkey's "great neighbor" and Ankara will always cooperate with the country, even if this causes resentment among the outside world.
"If America and Iran want Turkey, as a supporter of peace, is always ready to do everything possible to establish their relations," Erdogan said.
"But no one can put pressure on us to question our relations with Iran. If the world wishes our mediation in negotiations with Iran, then we will do it," Erdogan said.
The minister added that he opposes the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East. However, Erdogan drew attention to the fact that states opposing the proliferation of WMDs have their own nuclear weapons.
"For example, in the Middle East Israel opposed WMSs, but has such weapons itself and produces even more such heinous weapons," he said. "In addition, Israel is not a member of the international framework for nuclear energy. If we look at what happened recently in Gaza, then we see that they used phosphorous bombs, which are WMDs. The weapons killed more than 1,400 children, women, and elderly and injured about 5,000 people. If we are talking about peace on the planet, and justice, then we must be fair on this issue. We consider ourselves a friend of Israel."
"During talks with [U.S. President] Barack Obama, I stressed that Turkey is a supporter of good relations with its neighbors, but the Armenian-Azerbaijani problem should be solved for a quick resolution to the question of Armenian-Turkish relations," he said answering journalists' questions.
"A speedy solution to this problem is beneficial to all," he added.
But the Minsk Group co-chair countries should make their best efforts, he said.
"I have noted this during a meeting with Obama and Russian President Medvedyev. Obama has agreed on this idea. I informed him that Turkey is doing all it can, but this situation does not depend only on us," Erdogan said.
According to the PM, the topic of diplomatic relations with Armenia is on the agenda. However, the situation with this issue is not encouraging in the Turkish parliament. He said this is due to the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"If you want the opening of these borders, you must find a solution to the Karabakh problem and you, as a Minsk Group co-chair state, should speed up the settlement process. Resolving this issue will facilitate all of our work," Erdogan said.
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