U.S. envoy meets Turkish ruling party deputy chairman
Monday, April 14, 2014
ANKARA - The U.S. ambassador to Turkey held a meeting with the deputy chairman of the ruling AK party Monday, where they discussed Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Palestine and Turkey-US relations.
The meeting between Francis Ricciardone and Mehmet Ali Sahin, held at the AK Party headquarters, was closed to press.
Asked after the meeting whether the topics had included the U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ricciardone replied, "'We both agreed on the importance of keeping Turkish-American relations in a high level, away from your politics, respectful of Turkish interests and American issues."
Ricciardone also said he and Sahin discussed the recent draft bill that was approved by a committee of the U.S. Senate last week that supports Armenian allegations against Turks, saying he and Sahin had a "very good conversation."
The U.S. envoy said he also met with Yasin Aktay, the AK Party deputy chairman responsible for foreign relations, congratulated him on his appointment and his party's success in the most recent local elections.
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