Washington briefing: Turkey prepares ground for U.S. ties under new administration

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday December 13, 2008

Turkish officials and commentators have been actively reminding Washington of their country's importance to the United States, ahead of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

In recent weeks, in addition to visits by senior Turkish officials, Washington-based pundits held a number of public events that highlighted Turkey's priorities in relations with the United States and Europe. Opinion pieces on U.S.-Turkish relations appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Christian Science Monitor. A Turkish lobby group presented awards to three members of congress.

The longstanding effort to prevent a change in the administration's position on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - something that Mr. Obama promised repeatedly to bring about - is among top Turkish priorities.

According to media reports, Turkish President Abdullah Gül will again seek to recruit Jewish-American opposition to an Armenian Genocide resolution during a visit to Israel early next year.

Finally, according to Chicago Tribune, Mr. Obama may be considering Turkey as the site for a major address within his first 100 days in office that would focus on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

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