Bush to Ecevit: We Will Consult With Turkey on Any Decision Regarding Iraq
During his short-term visit this week in the U.S., Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit met with President George W. Bush on Wednesday and was assured by him that the Turkish government would be consulted with regards to any U.S. decision involving Iraq. This was said publicly during an oval office meeting with the media, before the two leaders began their talks.
Bush told Ecevit that “We will consult closely with Turkey on any decisions that I make”. He said that, as of now, no decisions have been made about other arenas, except that of Afghanistan.
The U.S. President, however, added regarding Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s refusing to let in United Nation’s supervision “I expect Saddam Hussein to let Inspectors back into the country. We want to know whether he is developing weapons of mass destruction. He claims he is not. Let the world in to see. If he does not, we will have to deal with that at the appropriate time”.
In reply to a question asked what would happen if the Iraqi leader would refuse to do so, Bush commented “He will see”.
Regarding Turkey’s indication of being prepared to take up the Peacekeeping Force leadership in Afghanistan after Britain, Bush stated “I appreciate their consideration of this very important matter”. He then added “I have made it clear that our [US] troops will be used to fight and win war and that is exactly what they have done”.
Bush also stated that Washington had lifted a travel advisory that warned American citizens from traveling to Turkey. (Albawaba.com)