On May 8, the Center for the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) hosted R. Nicholas Burns, former under secretary of state for political affairs, for the fourth annual Sakıp Sabancı Lecture. Ambassador Burns focused his address on the future of U.S.-Turkish relations. In March, Ambassador Burns retired as the under secretary of state for political affairs after a distinguished career in the U.S. foreign service. At the State Department, Burns played a critical role in the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. Ambassador Burns previously served in numerous influential positions at the State Department, including as the Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and U.S. Ambassador to Greece.
The Sakıp Sabancı Lecture is given annually by a leading international statesman and explores Turkey’s increasingly important role in the world. The event honors the memory of Sakıp Sabancı, one of Turkey’s foremost business leaders, a visionary supporter of democratic and economic reforms and a leading advocate of Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott was joined by Ms. Güler Sabancı, chairperson of the Sabancı Group, and provideed introductory remarks. Daniel Benjamin, senior fellow and CUSE director, moderated a question and answer session at the conclusion of Ambassador Burns’s remarks. A live video link to Sabancı University in Istanbul provided students and a wider overseas audience an opportunity to participate in the event including the question and answer session.