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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United States of America
16 May 2013




The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________________________

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2013

Joint Press Conference by President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey

Rose Garden

12:48 P.M. EDT


PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Please be seated, everybody.  Good afternoon. 

It is a great pleasure to welcome my friend, Prime Minister Erdogan, back to the White House.  This visit is also another opportunity for me to return the extraordinary hospitality that the Prime Minister and the Turkish people showed me on my visit to Turkey four years ago.  And that included my visit to the Prime Minister’s beautiful hometown of Istanbul.

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Given our shared interest in peace, I want to note the Prime Minister’s efforts to normalize relations with Israel.  This will benefit both the Turkish and Israeli people and can also help us make progress on a two-state solution, including an independent Palestinian State.

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PRIME MINISTER ERDOGAN:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you. 

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With respect to the Middle East peace process, we discussed with the President this important issue, which is very important for regional peace.  In the attack against Mavi Marmara, which was taking humanitarian aid to Gaza, Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American citizen were killed.  And as you know, we are working with the Israeli government for compensation for those who lost their lives.  And the visit that I will pay to Gaza will contribute to the peace in Gaza and to unity in Palestine, in my opinion.

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PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, before we get started let me just make sure that I’m a good host.  Mr. Prime Minister, do you want an umbrella?  (Laughter.)  Because we can arrange it if you need it.  You’re okay?  All right, this will be incentive for the press to ask concise questions and us to give concise answers. 

I’m going to start with Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg.

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Q. ... And also, Mr. Prime Minister, what is the status on efforts to normalize relations with Israel?  And do you still plan to go to Gaza in the coming weeks?  Thanks.

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PRIME MINISTER ERDOGAN:  (As interpreted.)  In your question about Gaza, according to my plans, most probably I would be visiting Gaza in June.  But it will not be a visit only to Gaza; I will also go to the West Bank.

I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East, and this visit in no way means favoring one or the other.  I’m hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine, first of all.  This is something that I focus on very much.  And I hope that my visit can contribute to that process.  Thank you.

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