US wants deeper, stronger ties with Turkey: official
The administration of President Donald Trump supports "deepening and strengthening" relations with Turkey, Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said Monday.
Addressing a Turkish-American business gathering in Washington, Brouillette said it is imperative that existing strains on the bilateral relationship not develop further, because "we are truly better when we are working together."
"Both nations have benefited tremendously from our strong friendship," he said. "However, even good friends sometimes have disagreements and it is time to resolve past misunderstandings to leverage our mutual strengths and actions to support the NATO alliance and create peace and a greater shared prosperity."
Brouillette pointed to energy cooperation between Washington and Ankara, calling it "integral," stressing the Trump administration and U.S. businesses stand ready to bolster cooperation and energy diversity in Turkey.
Turkey is already one of the top 10 importers of U.S. liquefied natural gas, he said, and is the largest importer within NATO.
Alparsalan Bayraktar, Brouillette's Turkish counterpart, said Turkey is the fourth largest gas market in Europe and wants to see "more competitive terms and conditions" with contracts.
"The market is profoundly sensitive to pricing dynamics, and the suppliers should realize and should adopt this," he said.
Citing major gas contracts that are set to expire in 2021 totaling nearly 3% of Turkey's gas consumption, Bayraktar said there is "huge potential here to cooperate in this field with U.S. suppliers."
"The trade volume between Turkey and U.S. reached around $19 billion and if we would like to increase this volume, energy and especially gas can play a very significant role," he said. "We need to work together as two governments, to support and encourage our companies to cooperate and come up with some creative business models, and mutually beneficial business models."