U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed "the democratization initiative" launched by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, noting that steps taken within this scope embraced Turkey's Kurdish population.
Speaking to the press following a private meeting with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday, Obama commented on the threat posed to Turkey's security by terrorist organization PKK.

Obama pointed out that military measures alone were not enough in dealing with the terrorist threat, underlining also the need for social and political measures and praising the steps taken by the Turkish government in the political arena to this end.

He said as NATO allies the two countries were entitled to help each other in defense of their homelands, noting that they talked about the need for close cooperation in dealing with the terrorist organization PKK and ways to coordinate military action against PKK, during his meeting with the Turkish premier.

Obama said they also discussed ways to promote Turkey's role in the NATO, and steps towards building a missile defense system.

Obama said Turkey, as a secular and democratic country respecting rule of law, with an overwhelmingly muslim population, had the potential to make a great impact on peace and stability not only in its region but also in the entire world.

Obama expressed his firm belief that ties between U.S.-Turkey relations would further be enhanced reiterating his will to do his best to carry relations further.

Obama referred to the establishment of a strategic committee to assess economic matters between the two countries --which he discussed in the past with Turkish authorities-- and said the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative would also partake in this committee. He said there was room for growth in the trade between the two countries.

AA