At THO roundtable, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu discusses U.S.-Turkey relations and Turkish foreign policy with high-level guests
On September 20, 2017, THO hosted a private roundtable dinner with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in New York City on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Attendees included former U.S. ambassadors, former Pentagon and National Security Council officials, and scholars and thought leaders from various U.S.-based think tanks and universities.
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu spoke extensively during the dinner about the current state and future of Turkish foreign policy in the region. The discussion centered on Turkey’s pivotal role in the ongoing civil war in Syria and Iraq, including conversation about Turkey’s outlook on possible actions in northern Iraq after the Kurdistan Regional Government’s independence referendum. He reiterated that Turkey and the U.S. are on the same page concerning this issue. He also addressed questions concerning last year’s failed coup attempt, Turkey’s role in hosting over three million Syrian refugees, and the status of the E.U.-Turkey refugee agreement.
The Foreign Minister spoke about U.S. support for the PYD in Syria, as well as other possible future threats for Turkey. He emphasized the strength and value of U.S.-Turkey ties, and consequently, he expressed Turkey’s expectation that disagreements be resolved with Turkey’s best interests in mind.
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu also highlighted Turkey’s firm commitment to protecting Rohingya human rights. Turkey’s advocacy in this respect has made international headlines, as the Rohingya have recently been the target of an ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar’s Rakhine region. Turkey was the first country to urge the global community to stand up for the Rohingya.