Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday his current visit to the United States would strengthen relations between the two countries and diversify the cooperation by developing existing relations.
Erdogan spoke to reporters prior to his departure from Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport for the U.S.

My delegation and I will be visiting the U.S. and Mexico. Our trip to the U.S. takes place upon an invitation by President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama and I will have a private meeting and will have a working meal together. We plan to meet with several members of the U.S. Congress following our meeting with President Obama, Erdogan said.

With President Obama, we will discuss the future of Turkish-U.S. relations, regional and international issues present on the mutual agendas of our two countries, joint international projects and steps taken as a result of the strategic partnership between Turkey and the U.S., Erdogan stressed.

We will exchange ideas and opinions on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and Caucasus, counter-terrorism, prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, global financial crisis, climate change and security of energy supply, Erdogan said.

After completing talks in the U.S., we will proceed to Mexico upon an invitation by Mexican President Felipe Calderon. We will be in Mexico between December 8 and 10, Erdogan said.

My visit to Mexico will be the first one by a Turkish prime minister after 10 years. I will meet with Mr. Calderon and chairperson of the Mexican Senate on December 9, Erdogan noted.

I will address important Mexican dignitaries in meetings organized by the University of Mexico and Mexican Chamber of Trade and Industry, Erdogan said.

We will return to Turkey on December 10, Erdogan added.

AA