Ankara (Turkey) Mar. 8 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that President Obama will fulfill his promise of visiting a Muslim nation within 100 days of joining the office by traveling to Turkey in the "next month or so."
At a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Clinton said Obama had asked her to deliver the message that he would visit the country soon to discuss the safest, most effective way to withdraw US forces from Iraq, Fox News reports..
Turkey is seen as a US ally that can help the to resolve several US foreign policy problems, including moving the US military out of Iraq, blocking Iran's nuclear ambitions and turning around the war in Afghanistan.
Turkey said it was ready to serve as an exit route for US troops pulling out of Iraq. The southern Incirlik air base has been used for transfer of US troops and equipment to Iraq and to Afghanistan.
Clinton also said that talks were under way between two US representatives and Syrian officials in Damascus.
The US diplomats began the discussions in Damascus in the hope of easing tensions between the two countries and enlisting Syria's help on Iran.
In 2005, the US withdrew its ambassador to Syria following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut. The killing was widely blamed on Syria-a charge Damascus denies.
Clinton talked with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for nearly two hours at his residence before visiting the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's national founder.
There, she recalled being in Ankara during her husband's presidency and said she had returned to help Obama promote "the work the U.S. and Turkey must do to forge peace, prosperity and progress."
Erdogan's office said in a statement that the two discussed bilateral relations, the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and combating terrorism. (ANI)