- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) - President Barack Obama says the U.S. and Turkey can be a model for bridging the East-West divide.

During a news conference in Ankara with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Obama said Monday the most promise in building stronger ties between the U.S. and Turkey lies in being able to create a modern, international community that is respectful, secure and prosperous.

He says the Muslim and Christian countries have a strong foundation to build on, because they both believe in religious freedom.

Obama said the U.S. doesn’t identify with a single religion, instead considering itself a nation bound by a set of ideals and values. And, he says, Turkey holds similar principals.

And following the strain of the Iraq war, Obama says he hopes to bolster relations with Turkey.

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