Abdullah Gul's visit to White House first in 12 years for Turkish president

President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with US President George W. Bush, the first Turkish president in 12 years to visit the US on an official trip. The meeting between Gul and Bush had an overwhelming focus on the PKK terror group, with Bush expanding on his November comments about the PKK being the "shared enemy" of Turkey and the US, noting this time that "the PKK is the enemy of Turkey, Iraq, and all peace-loving people.

We will stand by Turkey in its struggle against the PKK." Bush also commented in regards to Turkey that it was a "A fantastic example to the world of how the great religion of Islam can co-exist with democracy."
 
There was also a focus on Turkey's quest for accession to the EU yesterday in the meeting, with Bush noting that as Turkey was a "bridge" between the Islamic world and Europe, that he thought "Europe would benefit from Turkey's full EU membership."
 
For his part, President Gul touched on the Cyprus matter, asserting the need for the embargoes and isolationary measures currently in place for Northern Cyprus to be lifted.
 
President Gul's wife, Hayrunnisa Gul, accompanied him on the trip to Washington, and met yesterday on her own with President Bush's wife, Laura Bush.
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