Turkey Says Shares Concerns With "Shanghai Five" Over Terrorism

Turkey said it has the "same concerns" over terrorism as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the members of the "Shanghai Five," which held a summit earlier this week in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.

Ankara was not invited to attend the summit at observer level, but its embassy in Dushanbe had followed the meeting "closely," Turkish diplomatic sources close to the Foreign Ministry were quoted as saying by Turkish Daily News on Saturday.

The leaders of the five states signed a declaration vowing to deepen cooperation on security issues and expressed support to a Kyrgyz proposal to set up a regional center for fighting terrorism in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek.

The sources said that Turkey shares the same concerns as the " Shanghai Five" nations that Central Asia and the surrounding area are under the threat of regional and international terrorism.

However, analysts said that although Ankara expressed its supports for the five state's decision to fight terrorism, it feared that Russia would enhance influence in the region where the two countries have been historical rivals.

It was said that the Foreign Ministry had previously prepared a report addressing Turkey's concerns over the terrorist threat in the region.

The report said Russia was taking advantage of the terrorism in the region to regain its dominant position in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey has worked hard to increase ties with Turkic-speaking countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan.

Under the promotion of the United States, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia reached last year an agreement on the construction of a multi-billion-dollar inter-governmental oil pipeline to transport Caspian oil from Azerbaijan to global market through Turkish ports.

Analysts said the pipeline was of more political importance than economic significance for Washington, which aims to undercut the former Soviet republics' dependence on Russia.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/