Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he believed Turkey could be an "important player" in moving Iran toward resolving disputes over its nuclear program. WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he believed Turkey could be an "important player" in moving Iran toward resolving disputes over its nuclear program.
Obama said after a White House meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that he had stressed the importance of resolving Iran's nuclear capacity "in a way that allows Iran to pursue peaceful nuclear energy, but provides assurances that it will abide by international rules and norms."
"I believe that Turkey can be an important player in trying to move Iran in that direction," Obama said.
Erdogan said Turkey stands ready to do whatever it can to achieve a diplomatic solution on the nuclear issue.
NATO member Turkey's efforts to cultivate stronger ties with Tehran have raised concerns among some Western allies over whether Ankara is tilting away from the West and toward Iran.
But in U.S. eyes, Turkey's blossoming relations with Iran have eased Tehran's isolation as Washington tries to pressure the Islamic republic into a deal to satisfy the West that it is not pursuing a covert program to become a nuclear state.
Obama, who visited Turkey in April, has said Ankara can play a positive role in easing the dispute with Iran. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Doina Chiacu)