The White House Bulletin
May 16, 2013 Thursday

Obama, Erdogan Meet At White House

President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met
today at the White House, and were scheduled to appear at a press
conference in the Rose Garden this afternoon. One key issue the two
leaders were expected to discuss was Syria, where the Prime Minister
was expected to seek additional commitments from the US for dealing
with the regional fallout from the war.

White House Touts "Strong Partnership" Between US, Turkey.

The White House today released background information to highlight the
"strong partnership" between the US and Turkey. The release notes that
the US is "firmly committed to broadening and deepening this
partnership, and together we have taken great strides in recent years.
A shared vision for how to advance bilateral, regional, and global
issues continues to drive the United States and Turkey ever closer."

Among the key points, the White House noted the US "welcomes Turkey's
leadership on the world stage to address a range of challenges that we
are stronger confronting together. Our leaders meet often and work as
partners on topics such as encouraging a political transition in
Syria, promoting Middle East Peace, supporting economic reform and
growth throughout the Middle East/North Africa region, advancing a
comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, normalizing relations with
Armenia, and encouraging the highest standards for human rights,
democracy, and governance at home and abroad."

In addition, "bilateral trade has grown 75 percent to nearly $20
billion, and U.S. exports have more than doubled. Prospects for the
future are even brighter, as American and Turkish companies are
collaborating across a range of sectors, including technology,
pharmaceuticals, energy, and infrastructure."

On counter-terror issues, the US and Turkey "are stronger when we work
together on common challenges, such as safeguarding our citizens.
Recent terrorist attacks in both the United States and Turkey remind
us of the continuing threat of terrorism and the risks we take to
maintain an open, democratic, and free society."

In addition, Turkey is "a strategic partner to the United States, a
longstanding NATO Ally, and a valued friend. Turkey contributes to
international security alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the seas
near Somalia, and in the Mediterranean. In response to Turkey's
request, the United States contributed to the NATO deployment of
Patriot systems to augment Turkey's air defense capabilities, which
became operational earlier this year. This deployment, as well as our
work together, underscores how our military-to-military collaboration
is addressing some of the many complex potential threats we face
today, in particular those emanating from Syria."

And finally, "Nearly 12,000 Turks studied in the United States in the
2011-2012 academic year ? more than any other European country."

From: Baghdasarian