WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama told Time Magazine that the "bonds of trust" that he has formed have made his diplomatic endeavors more effective – listing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan as being among the friends he has made during his presidency.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was left out of Obama's shortlist, which included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and British premier David Cameron, in addition to Erdogan.
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Obama with Erdogan in New York (Photo: AFP)
In an interview published on Thursday, Obama told Time Magazine that "the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.
Obama, Cameron play ping pong (Photo: Reuters)
"I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests," Obama said, adding that these leaders' support has what helped them join efforts to get "a whole bunch of stuff done."
Obama and Erdogan are in touch often to discuss developments in the Middle East; in their talks, the president has attempted to find a resolution to Turkey's falling out with Israel, as well as promote the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and Bashar Assad in Syria. Iran's nuclear program is on their agenda as well.