Relations between Turkey and Syria reach highest level possible: Babacan

October 9, 2007 - 0:0

DAMASCUS (TurkishPress) -- “Turkey and Syria have deep historical ties. The relations between Turkey and Syria have reached highest level possible in the recent past,” said Turkish Foreign Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan on Sunday.

In a joint press briefing with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem, Ali Babacan indicated that “the Middle East is going through a difficult and dangerous period. The region is faced with serious problems such as Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.”
“Syria’s positive and constructive contributions to Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon carry great importance. Comprehensive meetings for peace in the Middle East are crucial. Turkey will continue to support every effort made for peace in the Middle East,” noted Babacan.
Babacan requested Syria’s support for a meeting of Iraq’s neighbors in Istanbul.
Babacan stressed that the Lebanese crisis is at a critical point. “The steps taken by all sides in Lebanon towards compromise carries vital importance. There is a need for all sides to be constructive in the election of the Lebanese president. I appreciate Syria’s works vis-a-vis Lebanon,” underlined Babacan.
On the other hand, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem defined his meeting with Babacan as “positive and constructive”.
Mualem said regional problems as well as bilateral issues and situation in Iraq were reviewed at the visit.
Syrian FM recalled that Babacan relayed good-will message of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, noting that Gul invited Al-Assad to Turkey.
“Al-Assad welcomed this invitation. He will pay a visit to Turkey soon,” Mualem noted.
He said, “Situation in Iraq was discussed at the meeting. There is consensus of opinion between the Turkish and Syrian parties on preservation of Iraq’s unity, integrity and independence.”
“Turkey and Syria are also of the same opinion that problems in Lebanon should be resolved through compromise based on dialogue,” Mualem remarked.
Asked to comment on the allegations that Turkey had information about the Israeli aircrafts that violated Syrian air space, Mualem said, “I earlier said, Turkey’s giving permission to the activities that will threaten security of Syria is not possible. Groundless allegations can not overshadow and damage ongoing positive relations between Turkey and Syria.”
Responding to the same question, Babacan said, “Turkey and Syria are two friendly countries. It is not possible for Turkey to allow use of its territory or airspace for any reason against Syria.”
Babacan said Turkey is closely interested in the problems of the region and is in close dialogue with the countries of the region..