ANKARA, Turkey, March 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first visit to a Muslim nation in Turkey starting April 6, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan said the Obama visit would coincide with the April 6-7 meeting in Istanbul of the U.N.-backed Alliance of Civilizations, an alliance formed to improve cross-cultural ties.
The Turkish premier said the American president would visit top officials in Ankara on the first day of the alliance's forum and attend an alliance meeting the following day.
"I didn't expect (an official visit) that soon," he told Turkish television. "Combining the two occasions is very meaningful for us." Turkey co-chairs the alliance with Spain.
Obama made early pledges to improve U.S. relations in the Muslim world, giving his first formal interview as president to the al-Arabiya satellite channel.
Erdogan said the Obama talks would focus on finding a resolution to the ongoing Middle East conflict, as well as the Turkish bid to join the European Union.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, however, said the agenda was not finalized, noting it was unknown whether Obama planned to give a speech during his visit, Turkey's Hurriyet reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit to Turkey earlier this month, praising Ankara's support for regional efforts.