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Arab League to support Turkey’s UN Security Council bid – Minister 6 mars 2007

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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BBC Monitoring International Reports, March 5, 2007 Monday

Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English, 4 Mar 07

Turkish Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul returned to Turkey on Sunday after attending a meeting of the Arab League, at ministerial level in Cairo.

Speaking to reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Gul pointed to the importance of this meeting of Arab League, and noted that Iraq and Palestinian problems were discussed at the meeting.

Gul said in the speech delivered at the meeting he has underscored that the Middle East was passing through a very critical period and that all parties should produce a joint solution to the problems.

« I have also emphasized that the all the parties should assume a compromising attitude, » Gul noted.

Turkish FM Gul said Arab League has decided to support Turkey’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

Gul said he also attended Ministers meeting of the Arab League Iraq Committee and explained Turkey’s views on Iraq.

« I have stated that Turkey feels sorrow over the current situation in Iraq and noted we all should assist them. I have shared with my counterparts what we should do for this. I have underlined that a compromising attitude was needed in order not to meet another problem regarding Kirkuk, » Gul said.

Pointing out that all the participants attached importance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and preservation of its political unity, Gul said the meetings aimed at assisting Iraq.

Gul’s Meetings in Cairo

Gul said he met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Cairo, « I had the opportunity to explain him Turkey’s views on Iraq, » he added.

Recalling that the meeting of countries neighbouring on Iraq will be held, Gul said the first meeting would be in Baghdad, and noted that private representatives would attend this meeting.

« Preparations pertaining to the meeting in Baghdad were reviewed during my meeting with Zebari, » Gul indicated.

Gul said all issues related to Iraq were discussed during his meeting with Zebari, and added that Turkey has always been in dialogue with Iraq.

Gul said he also had the opportunity to meet his Egyptian, Lebanese and Qatari counterparts as well as Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa.

Turkish-Arab Forum

Gul said relations between Turkey and Arab League member countries improved, recalling that, « a decision had been made on September 2006 to establish Turkish-Arab forum between Turkey and Arab League. The forum aims at carrying out works to boost political, cultural and economic relations. »

Turkish Foreign Minister calls for regional cooperation in Middle East

Turkish FM and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said he believed a regional regulation involving relations in all areas would be useful.

Delivering a speech at the opening session of the FMs meeting of the Arab League, Gul expressed the happiness he felt over having been invited to the meeting and in this respect thanked the Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa and his Egyptian counterpart Ahmad Abu-al-Ghayt.

Stressing the importance of the relations between Turkey and the Arab League, Gul said he believed the Turkish-Arab forum would soon convene and be institutionalized.

Underlining that the Middle East was going through to most troubled period in its history, Gul indicated that it was not possible to solve the problems in the region separately. Gul said the Palestinian issue which lay at the centre of the problems, was creating pessimism and expectancy of fundamentalism in the region.

Gul expressed his happiness over the consensus that was reached in Mecca and thanked King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt for their contribution. Gul said he believed a national unity government to be founded in Palestine would be an important step in the solution of the problem.

Stating that the new government should attach priority to the interests of the Palestinian people, Gul underlined the need for the international community to support this government.

Commenting on the latest situation in Iraq, Gul underscored the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq and said, « a separated Iraq would bring forth unpredictable consequences for the whole region. »

Gul said a strong central government was important in building peace and stability. Indicating that Kirkuk, which is a « home to Arabs, Turks and Kurds », was a small microcosm of Iraq, Gul underlined the necessity of national consensus over the issue.

Regarding the nuclear issue with Iran, Gul said, diplomatic methods should be used in seeking a solution to the issue.

Gul also commented on the situation in Lebanon and said, « we are ready to do everything in our capability to help build stability in Lebanon. »

Stating that sectarian disputes in the region were causing unrest, Gul said these kind of disputes would have negative consequences.

Gul said they would work towards establishing cooperation between Turkey and the Arab League that would set an example.

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