Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed that the United States strongly supports Turkey in efforts to eliminate terrorism.
At the “Coffee Break with Hillary Clinton” show hosted by CNN-Turk and Moderated by Sirin Payzin, Ms. Clinton said she came to Turkey yesterday for serious talks about Libya and have to end the conflict in the country.
When asked about her views about the situation of Turkey in the light of the recent incedent where 13 Turkish soldiers have been killed near Diyarbakir, Ms. Clinton stressed that both the United States and Turkey is focused on how to fight terrorism.
“I have enjoyed coming here since the 1990s as a First Lady along with my husband and then as a senator and now as the Secretary of State. And I think the relationship between Turkey and the United States is so important because we have a lot of common concerns and also common shared values.” – Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that one of their shared concerns is about terrorism. She stressed that the United States has strongly supported Turkey in the efforts to try to eliminate terrorism, like the terrible attack on the soldiers the other day.
“I condemned it yesterday and I condemned it the day before when it happened. I think the key for both of our countries is to maintain our strong, vibrant, democratic institutions, our pluralist societies, our respect for the wonderful differences among us that make life interesting, but to give no quarter to terrorists.” -Ms. Clinton
She explained that if people want to participate in the political system and they wish to put forth ideas that they do it peacefully within a democratic process, she pointed out that’s the way democracy should work.
“But they must give up violence and they must denounce it, and they cannot be associated with it if they expect to be part of the political system.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton underscored that certainly these are all decisions for the Turkish people to make. She added that she has been involved in many conflicts around the world in working for peace, in working to bring differences together over the divides that too often separate the two countries.
“I think we have to draw a very, very sharp line between peaceful protest, political participation, and use of violence and terrorism. And that is just absolutely something that has to be condemned and outlawed and punished very strongly.” -Ms. Clinton