Cablegate: Ambassador's Meeting with Tobb President Rifat

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

160700Z Sep 03





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Ambassador's Meeting with TOBB President Rifat


1. (SBU) In the Ambassador's first call on Turkish Union of
Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (Turkish acronym TOBB)
President Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the two sides discussed Iraq
reconstruction, economic reform, the upcoming Economic
Partnership Commission meeting, and investment climate
issues. Hisarciklioglu provided us with a copy of TOBB's
report on Iraq reconstruction problems. The Ambassador
emphasized the interest of both the United States and Turkey
in a unified, democratic and prosperous Iraq, and said that
Turkish companies were in a good position to gain a share of
Iraq reconstruction contracts. End Summary.

Iraq Reconstruction

2. (U) Hisarciklioglu told the Ambassador that he planned to
attend a conference on Iraq reconstruction hosted by the
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on
September 18 and 19, and delivered a TOBB report on this
subject. The report, based on a survey of businesses
dealing with Iraq, found that obtaining accurate
information, transport and payments were key problems.

3. (SBU) The Ambassador responded that the United States and
Turkey share an interest in a unified, democratic, and
prosperous Iraq. He also stressed the President's
commitment to political and economic reform in the broader
Middle East. He emphasized that the U.S. Administration
does not intend to disadvantage Turkish companies seeking
Iraq reconstruction contracts. On the contrary, Turkish
companies should be very competitive in this environment.

Economic Priorities

4. (U) Hisarciklioglu began by pointing out that TOBB,
representing about 1.2 million individuals and companies,
was intimately familiar with Turkey's socioeconomic
situation. TOBB fully supports the economic/structural
reform program, rule of law, equal opportunity for all, and
efficient administration of justice.

5. (SBU) TOBB's President noted that bilateral relations
have developed since the 1980's, but that economic and
commercial relations lagged our political relations. For
example, Turkish trade with the United States is not
expanding as quickly as overall Turkish foreign trade.
Hisarciklioglu praised past cooperation with the Embassy on
economic issues, including the establishment of American
corners in Gaziantep, Kayseri and Bursa. He also expressed
gratitude for U.S. economic support in the form of the USD
8.5-billion loan package. Hisarciklioglu suggested that the
private sector be given a role in this fall's Economic
Partnership Commission meeting.

6. (SBU) The Ambassador acknowledged that Turkey's economic
picture, with lower inflation and economic growth, continues
to improve. He agreed that bilateral economic relations
should be strengthened, and that foreign investment should
be an important element in this. He pointed out that
macroeconomic stability is a necessary, but not a
sufficient, condition for attracting foreign direct
investment. In particular, the GOT also needs to resolve
problems affecting existing U.S. investors and to improve
transparency. The Ambassador agreed that some form of
private sector participation in the EPC would be useful.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>