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Obama Says U.S.-Turkish Ties 'More Important Than Ever'

U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)
U.S. ties with Turkey are "more important than ever" despite differences over Iran, President Barack Obama is quoted as saying in an interview with Turkey's "Hurriyet" newspaper.

Obama says the two countries' shared interests and values underpin their relationship even when they disagree.

Obama told "Hurriyet" he remained "committed to a diplomatic resolution" of tensions over Iran but stressed the Islamic Republic had failed to convince the international community that its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes.

Turkey has been reluctant to back a tougher line on Iran, its eastern neighbour, which has sparked concern that NATO's sole Muslim-majority member is sliding away from the West.

Obama says however, that he is firmly believes Turkey shares the goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

compiled from agency reports