ANKARA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived
in Ankara early on Saturday on a one-day working visit aimed at boosting
Clinton met with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister
Ali Babacan early Saturday morning and bilateral relations between the two NATO
allies, Middle East peacekeeping as well as the fight against terrorism were
high on agenda of the meetings, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
According to the report, Clinton's visit was aiming to try to build a
better image for the Obama administration in order to remove a wave of
anti-Americanism that rose after the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq in 2003.
Turkish prime minister's press office said in a statement posted on its
website on Saturday that Erdogan's closed-door meeting with Clinton focused on
regional and global developments including the issues of Palestinians, Iraq and
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan was also present at the meeting in
which relations between Turkey and the United States as two friendly and allied
countries were assessed, said the statement.
Clinton is scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gul later in the day.
She will also hold a joint press conference with Babacan after the meetings.
Meanwhile, to reach out to the Turkish people, Clinton is supposed to
appear on a popular talk show named " Haydi Gel Bizimle Ol" (Come and Join Us),
which is to be broadcast on the private NTV news channel.
Clinton is also expected to discuss with Turkish leaders the withdrawal of
U.S. troops from neighboring Iraq, Anatolia's report said, adding she is
supposed to bring up the matter that U.S. army uses Turkish ports or bases when
withdrawing from Iraq.
Earlier this week, Erdogan and Babacan said Turkey would look positively to
a U.S. military pullout from Iraq.
In March 2003, Turkey's parliament rejected a decree to allow U.S. troops
to launch their invasion of Iraq from Turkish territory.
Clinton visited Turkey as the first lady in 1999 with her husband, former
President Bill Clinton.