President Carter and Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit had a useful and productive 1-hour meeting this morning which included a full discussion of key international and bilateral issues. The Turkish Prime Minister is in the United States heading his country's delegation to the NATO Summit, where he has also served as this year's Honorary President.
The President and Prime Minister noted the important place Turkey occupies in the NATO Alliance and stressed the Alliance's important contribution to the preservation of stability, peace, democracy, and human values. They also reviewed the urgent need for strengthening NATO's southern flank and for rebuilding United States-Turkish relations. President Carter assured Prime Minister Ecevit that he was determined to obtain congressional approval for the repealing of the remaining arms restrictions on Turkey. Prime Minister Ecevit in turn stressed the importance of the elimination of those restrictions for the revitalization of the United States-Turkish relations as well as for the common security interests of the Atlantic community.
President Carter and Prime Minister Ecevit reiterated that an early and equitable solution of the Cyprus problem was desirable in the interests of all parties concerned as well as for peace and stability in the region. Both expressed the hope that the discussions now taking place between the United Nations Secretary General and the representatives of the Cypriot communities would lead to early resumption of the intercommunal talks.
The Prime Minister reviewed the actions his government has taken over the past several months in the economic field which has opened up prospects for the amelioration of external payments. Stressing the importance he attached to closer economic cooperation with the United States, he also emphasized the necessity of a sound and healthy economy, both for the maintenance of an efficient defense structure and the strengthening of democratic institutions. The President has shown full understanding in this respect.
Also present for the meeting were Gunduz Okcun, Foreign Minister; Hasan Esat Isik, Defense Minister; Ambassador Siikrii Elekdag, Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry; Melih Esenbel, Turkish Ambassador to the United States; Secretary of State Vance; and Dr. Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Matthew Nimetz, Counselor of the State Department; George Vest, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs; and Paul Henze, NSC staff member, also took part in the meeting.