Ankara sees closer ties to Washington

May 4, 2009 at 4:01 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, May 4 (UPI) -- Improved relations with Washington are Ankara's key foreign policy objective as Turkey becomes a key player in regional dynamics, the new foreign minister said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shuffled his Cabinet on Friday, appointing a top foreign policy adviser, Ahmet Davutoglu, as his new foreign minister, replacing Ali Babacan.

Davutoglu said Ankara was emerging beyond a conventional observer role in the Middle East and the Balkans, Today's Zaman reports.

"Turkey is no longer a country which only reacts to crises but notices the crises before their emergence and intervenes in the crises effectively and gives shape to the order of its surrounding region," he said.

He added that despite improving relations with Washington, diplomatic ties with the European Union and its NATO allies are "pillars" to regional peace and security.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Cemil Cicek said Monday that Ankara was considering a draft law to establish an undersecretary for counter-terrorism efforts.

The measure would go into effect later in May, in part to boost collaborative efforts with the United States in the regional push to control the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party.

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