A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State said on Wednesday that the U.S. state secretary had stated during her recent phone talk with the Turkish foreign minister that the primary focus should be on Iran's engagement with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 5+1 states which are the permanent members of United Nations Security Council.
During a daily press briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley of the U.S. Department of State replied to a question on Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's latest statement, which denied an agreement between the U.S. and Turkey leaving Turkey out of the negotiation process on Iran's nuclear program and expressed that his country would continue to be involved in the process.
"I do not see those as necessarily being mutually exclusive. In other words, Turkey and Iran are neighbors. One would expect that Turkey and Iran will continue to have diplomatic contacts. It is within their rights, and obviously, what happens in Iran has a profound and direct influence on Turkey," Crowley said.
Commenting on the content of the telephone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Crowley said, "What the Secretary said to the foreign minister in their call earlier this week was that at this stage, the primary focus should be on Iran engaging constructively the IAEA and the P-5+1".
"And we believe that there was a mutual understanding about the importance of getting Iran to engage the IAEA and the P-5+1 at this stage of the game," Crowley added.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had a phone talk during which they discussed issues such as Iran, Israel, the Caucasus and the Balkans.
After the conversation, a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Turkey's diplomacy was praiseworthy, however, the message given by Clinton during the phone talk was that it was now time for Iran to contact IAEA and the P5+1 as relevant channels at this point, moreover, everybody should encourage Iran to establish such contact.
Commenting on the remarks claiming that Clinton had asked Turkey to stay out of the process regarding Iran's nuclear program, Davutoglu said U.S. officials had not said such a thing.
"We have a sound will to conduct this process coordinately," he noted.
Turkey and Brazil signed in May an agreement with Tehran to send abroad 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium in return for reactor fuel, and as non-permanent members of the Security Council, they voted against the resolution imposing sanctions on Iran.
AALast Mod: 15 Temmuz 2010, 11:58