The U.S. President Gerald Ford and the Turkish Prime Minister, Suleyman Demirel, met in Helsinki?
The U.S. President Gerald Ford and the Turkish Prime Minister, Suleyman Demirel, met in Helsinki on Thursday (31 July) to discuss the closure of U.S. bases in Turkey and the sale of arms to that country.
The two men are in the Finnish capital for the European Security Conference being attended by leaders of 35 states of Europe and North America.
The meeting came before the Turkish delegation, led by Mr. Demirel, walked out of the conference as Archbishop Makarios took the rostrum to speak on behalf of Cyprus. The Turks, who do not recognise the Archbishop's right to speak, returned when he had finished speaking.
President Ford and Mr. Demirel at their meeting agreed that good relations between their two countries were vital for NATO and the defence of the Mediterranean, but no plans were announced for the resumption of military cooperation.
Relations between the U.S.A. and Turkey reached a breakdown point when Congress refused to endorse arms sales to Turkey. The Turkish Government replied by taking over U.S. bases in the country.
SYNOPSIS: The European Security Conference in Helsinki has provided 35 of the world's leaders with a unique chance to air their grievances.... either publicly or privately.... to each other . Two nations at loggerheads at the moment are the United State and Turkey. On Thursday, President Ford and the Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel met to discuss their differences.
The U.S. Congress decision to halt arms sales to Turkey and the Turkish government's subsequent take-over of U.S bases on Turkish soil were the main topics of discussion. Prime Minister Demirel told newsmen after the meeting that he thought his talks with President Ford had been valuable. Later in the day, Mr. Demerel headed the Turkish delegation in waling out of the Security summit in protest against the presence of Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios.
President Ford said that he hoped his country's differences with Turkey could be quickly resolved. Good relations with Turkey, he said, were important not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world. Turkey has just re-assured the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of its continued loyalty.