Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "Ending this bloody process in Syria and meeting the legitimate demands of the people by establishing a new government are two areas where we are in full agreement with the United States" on Thursday.
Erdogan and US President Barack Obama who had come together in the meetings between Turkish and US delegations held a joint press conference in the Rose Garden.
Erdogan andObama stated Syria had been top on the agenda of the meetings.
"Supporting the opposition and Assad leaving are important issues. We also agree that we have to prevent Syria from becoming an area for terrorist organizations. We also agree that chemical weapons should not be used, and all minorities and their rights should be secured. These are all priority areas for all of us. And we discussed what needs to be done on these issues with the president, and this evening we will continue to talk about these in greater detail" said Erdogan.
Erdogan said upon a question about the chemical weapons claimed to be used in Syria that:
"Chemical weapons and missiles, rockets, all that have been fired -- all that information is shared between the relevant bodies within our administrations, and it's not justTurkey and the United States. For example, the United Kingdom and all others have that -- document that information, because we share information, and the U.N. Security Council -- all the other relevant authorities will also receive that information in the proper time so that more information is provided to the public. So we will continue to work in this way."
"Our aim is to accelerate Syrian process"
Erdogan stated that Turkey would like to "see the sensitivity on the part of the international community" for the ongoing Syria crisis.
"We as Turkey are striving for, and I do believe that the United States is doing the same. And other countries, the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League -- and other countries, though not part of these structures, are still sensitive to what is going on in Syria" said Erdogan and added:
"Our aim is to accelerate this process. And I will be visiting other countries, my foreign minister will be visiting other countries, just to see how we can speed things up in a way which will prevent the deaths of more people and in a way which will ensure a transition to a democratic system in Syria. Our goal is to see the tyranny, the dictatorship go away in Syria and to be replaced with democracy. And I think this is a collective responsibility on the part of all countries that believe in democracy. And this is what we will all continue to do."
"We display a very strong cooperation"
Erdogan said both Turkey and USA displayed a strong cooperation and added:
" Turkey and the United States have many issues that covers the Middle East to the Balkans to Central Asia to other areas, including in issues such as energy security of supply and many other issues. And in all these areas and on all these issues, we display a very strong cooperation. And in our meetings with PresidentObama today, we talked about relations between Turkey and the United States and also about some topical issues which remain on both of our agendas. We had an opportunity to exchange views on regional and global issues, and our exchange of views and opinions will continue throughout the day with other meetings that will take place during the rest of the day. Turkey and the United States, we are both determined to continue to fight jointly against terrorism."
Erdogan said his scheduled Gaza visit would be in June and stated "I will not visit only Gaza. I will also go to the West Bank."
"I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East. And I -- this visit in no way means favoring one or the other. I'm hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine, first of all. This is something that I foc us on very much. And I hope that my visit can contribute to that process" saidErdogan.
Bilateral economic and trade relations between Turkey and the US
Erdogan also said he was here with close to a hundred businessman and they were holding meetings with their counterparts in the US.
"They will continue to talk and meet with their counterparts this afternoon as well. Bilateral economic relations between Turkey and the United States have to be included, and we both have this aim. Ten years ago our trade stood at $8 billion. At the moment trade stands at $20 billion. But this amount is still not sufficient. We have to increase the amount of trade between our two countries" said Erdogan.
Erdogan said bilateral economic and trade relations between Turkey and the United States would continue to develop and added:
"We carry forward with these efforts, we need to strengthen this relationship with free trade agreements and other agreements. And I can tell you that as leaders of our nations, we have the will to continue to develop our economic relations."