Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit Washington from April 18 to 21, during which he is likely to focus influencing the wording of the White House’s official commemoration on the upcoming centennial anniversary of the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Çavuşoğlu will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç told reporters on April 16.
He will also visit the Turkish-American Cultural and Civilization Center and participate in a conference at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Also expected to be on the agenda of the visit are the situations in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, Yemen, and Cyprus, as well as the fight against terrorism and the issue of energy security.
Regarding Barack Obama’s annual April 24 declaration, Çavuşoğlu is expected to focus efforts on urging Washington not to use the word “genocide” in his statement. In recent years, Obama has used the term “Meds Yeghern” (meaning “great catastrophe” in Armenian) to address the events of 1915.
Meanwhile, a senior U.S. diplomat has been holding talks with Turkish officials in Ankara, days before Çavuşoğlu departs for Washington.
The U.S. State Department’s Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who arrived in Turkey on April 15, was set to meet Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu late on April 16.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bilgiç declined to elaborate on items on the agenda of the meeting between Nuland and Sinirlioğlu, only saying it was part of “regular political consultation.”