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Reuters: Building a New Future for Turkey

Authors: Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC, and Stephen J. Hadley, Principal, RiceHadley Gates, LLC
May 15, 2012


The U.S.-Turkey relationship has become increasingly important as a result of the continuing violence in Syria and ongoing debate over Iran's nuclear program. In this crucial time, the two countries have an opportunity to work together to help shape the Middle East, including the challenges of ensuring the stability of Iraq, containing Iranian nuclear ambitions, and putting an end to the Assad regime in Syria.

The crisis in Syria and the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program have highlighted the renewed importance of one of the oldest and most enduring relationships of the United States: its alliance with Turkey. The U.S.-Turkey partnership was forged during the Korean conflict and the Cold War, and Washington and Ankara stood shoulder-to-shoulder to confront the Soviet challenge. Now, the two countries have an opportunity to work together to help shape the Middle East, ensure the stability of Iraq, contain Iranian ambitions, end the Assad regime in Syria and ensure reliable energy supplies to Europe.

In the past decade, Turkey has become the 17th-largest economy in the world and undertaken far-reaching political reforms. It has gone from being a cautious actor in international affairs to being an influential player in its neighborhood and beyond. In a new Council on Foreign Relations report, a bipartisan panel we chaired makes the case that the two countries should define a new partnership of close coordination in confronting today's challenges.

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