Turkish PM, US Vice President Hope for 'New Chapter'

VP Pence with PM Yildirim at White House AA VP Pence with PM Yildirim at White House

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hoped for "a new chapter” between the both countries during their meeting in Washington Thursday, according to the White House. The meeting, which was closed to the media, started at the Roosevelt room at 11 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) and lasted an hour and 20 minutes. Discussing a wide range of bilateral and regional issues during a meeting, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kilic and Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Mehmet Mus also accompanied Yildirim.

“Today at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to reaffirm the enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey,” it said in a statement from the White House.

“The leaders expressed hope that their meeting would help to usher in a new chapter in U.S.-Turkey relations and agreed on the need for constructive dialogue, as friends and Allies, on bilateral challenges,” it added.

The parties also highlighted the mutual interest in stability and security in the Middle East and agreed to further intergovernmental consultations toward that end, the statement said.

Vice President Pence also thanked Yildirim for Turkey's contributions to global security and the fight against Daesh, and underscored the U.S. commitment to stand with Turkey against the PKK, and other terrorist threats.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU, and US, resumed its decades-long armed campaign in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.

Urging Turkey for more transparency, Pence also expressed "his concern" over the arrests of U.S. Mission’s staff, American citizens in Turkey, journalists, and civil society members.

Yildirim and his delegation later left for New York after the meeting at the White House. (AA -

By Safvan Allahverdi)