Turkey-Syria cooperation carries potential to change Mideast fate: FM

20:46, December 21, 2010      

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that the cooperation between Turkey and Syria carried the potential to change the ill fate of the Middle East.

Speaking at a ministerial meeting of the Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in the Turkish capital of Ankara, bringing together 26 ministers from the two countries, Davutoglu said other countries in the region followed the example of Turkey and Syria in establishing bilateral cooperation.

"The cooperation launched between Turkey and Syria has served as a model for the region, and its success is closely monitored by the whole region. If it proves successful, not only it will enhance the relations between the two countries, but also it will change the ill fate of the region," said Davutoglu.

Referring to the 51 agreements signed between Turkey and Syria last year, Davutoglu said that in Tuesday's meeting they were evaluating the progress made in the implementation of these agreements as well as exploring new ways of cooperation.

He said they would compile findings of the ministerial meeting into a report which would be submitted to the meeting of the prime ministers of the two countries, scheduled on Tuesday afternoon.

For his part, Syrian Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani, head of the Syrian delegation, expressed joy of the Syrian side over the growing ties between the two countries.

He said they were exploring ways to further enhance the bilateral relations in the meeting, adding that the vision of the leaders of the two countries bolstered the bilateral cooperation.

Tensions between Turkey and Syria ran high in the 1980s and 1990s when Turkey accused Syria of sheltering members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

The bilateral relations have grown stronger since Syria expelled PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1998.

Turkey and Syria lifted travel visas earlier this year and the two countries' militaries staged joint exercises.

Source: Xinhua
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