Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the 2011 Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey relations, hosted by the American-Turkish Council in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2011. Secretary Clinton said:
"Before I begin, I want to say, on behalf of President Obama and the American people, that our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones and their homes in the recent earthquake, also with the rescuers and with the people of Turkey, because of the scenes of heart-wrenching suffering, but also exhilaration, bravery, and compassion that lift the spirit: the tiny baby girl who was pulled alive after being trapped for 48 hours, then her mother and her grandmother being saved, and then a 13-year-old boy. These great testaments to the resilience of the human spirit were very touching to all of us."
Secretary Clinton continued, "So I want to emphasize that the United States welcomes Turkey's growing role in the region and on the world stage. Now, we do not always see eye-to-eye. In fact, no two nations -- or two friends or even two members of the same family -- ever do. But we are confident that as Turkey assumes the responsibilities that come with increased influence, our partnership will become even more productive in the years ahead.
"Tonight, I want to focus on an aspect of our relationship that sometimes receives less attention but is increasingly central to our future together; that is, U.S.-Turkish economic ties and Turkey's growing economic leadership in the region. As I explained in a speech earlier this month in New York, the Obama Administration is elevating economic statecraft as a pillar of American foreign policy so we can continue to lead in a world where power is often exercised in boardrooms and on trading floors as much as in battle space."
Secretary Clinton concluded, "we believe Turkey's economic leadership has the potential to support positive change far beyond Turkey's own borders or own neighborhood. Turkey sends more than a quarter of its exports to nations in the Middle East and North Africa. Its companies are, therefore, investing heavily across the region. Turkish businesses are helping to rebuild Iraq. They are one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Egypt. And Turkish planes have already resumed flights to Libya. Along with political change and reform must come economic reform in this region. To succeed, the Arab political awakening must also be an economic awakening."
The full remarks can be found here.