10.5.2010. Η εφαρμογή της στρατηγικής Νταβούττογλου, Συρία

10.5.2010. Η εφαρμογή της στρατηγικής Νταβούττογλου, Συρία

Σημ. Ήφ. Μια εβδομάδα πριν την έλευση της μισής τουρκικής κυβέρνησης στην Αθήνα -και ένα απίστευτο άρθρο σε κυριακάτικη εφημερίδα που παρουσίαζε το Αιγαίο ως no man’ s land όπου όλοι θα κάνουν businness χαρούμενοι και αγκαλιασμένοι- και δέκα μέρες πριν την κυκλοφορία του Στρατηγικού βάθους του Νταβούτογλου, ενέχει πλέον τεράστιο διεθνολογικό ενδιαφέρον η συστηματική και μεθοδική εφαρμογή της πολιτικής του.

Presidents al-Assad and Gul: Syrian-Turkish Relations Based on Solid Foundations, Developing Well
May 08, 2010 http://www.sana.sy/eng/269/2010/05/08/286960.htm

Istanbul, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Abdullah Gul affirmed on Saturday that Syrian-Turkish relations are based on solid foundations, and developing well in all fields.
President al-Assad added that the two countries are working to achieve peace in the region and prevent war.
«It seems that peace is not sought by the Israelis, the President stressed adding that Syria is committed to Turkish mediation and that Israel does not want peace,» the President said.
Turkish president, meanwhile, said Syrian-Turkish relations are based on solid foundations and that the two peoples are brothers.
He added that the region can no longer bear a burden of war and that the Syrian side, starting from President al-Assad, has expressed willingness to start the talks from the same point.
Following is the full text of the press conference
President Bashar al-Assad and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Saturday held talks in the presence of Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Assistant Foreign Minister Abdul Fattah Ammoura, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Media Affairs Bulent Arinc, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Customs Affairs Hayati Yazici and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

After that Presidents al-Assad and Gul held a press conference on topics discussed during the talks.
President al-Assad began the joint press conference by thanking President Gul and the Turkish government and people for the hospitality they show every time he visits Turkey.
«We as Syrian and Turkish officials no longer feel that we’re traveling from one country to another when we visit each other. This reflects the reality of the feelings that prevail on the public level and the development and consolidation of this relationship over the past years in political and economic fields, which expresses the reality of the historic and cultural relations between the two countries… Today, we seek and work to renew these relations in each visit and meeting among officials or citizens from the two countries,» President al-Assad said.
Syrian-Turkish relations have become a reality
He affirmed that Syrian-Turkish relations and their considerable positive outcomes have become a reality in politics, economy and all other fields that no one can deny. «In the past when we said reality it meant having something imposed on us and accepting it, but today this status quo is imposed and created itself by itself… It is a reality that is subject to our interests. We are not subject to it at all. It has not come from outside… The content of this reality is our mutual need for each other as well as our joint interests and similar cultures.»
The President wondered who could have imagined a few years ago seeing this region from the Middle East to the Caucasus moving in this direction, saying «If we look today at the Syrian-Turkish relations, the Syrian-Iranian relations, Turkish-Iranian relations, Turkish-Armenian relations, and now the relations between Syria and Azerbaijan and Armenia, we will find that these relations are developing from the Caucasus to the Middle East… Turkey is geographically the natural part between these two regions, therefore it has a big responsibility in this relationship. I’m sure that over the next ten years, we will see a much better map than the current one in which we live in.
Syrian-Turkish relations are a model for relations between any two countries
«President al-Assad went on to say that all officials he had met recently said that Syrian-Turkish relations are a model for relations between any two countries and that there is general relief over these relations.»
«It may be difficult to measure what has been achieved during the past few years because the situations in general in this region can only be described as bad… But if we want to evaluate – it is difficult to evaluate in terms of numbers – what has been achieved, it is sufficient to imagine how the situation today could have been if the relations between us had been cold or not good… It is enough to make this comparison to know where we were, where we are, and what these effects are,» he added.
«Syrian-Turkish relations are not only bilateral relations, but they also express the interests of all the countries of the region in general and the Arab states in particular …We see that there have been enthusiasm and eagerness towards this relationship with Turkey over the past few years… This was represented through the Arab-Turkish Council and through Turkey’s latest participation in the Arab Summit in Libya,» the President added.
He went on to say that the positive outcomes of the Syrian-Turkish relations push us to further develop them in order not to be overtaken by time otherwise we will be defeated by crises and we will not have a place among countries of the world.
In this framework, I visit Turkey today …Visits between Syria and Turkey nowadays acquire more importance than ever, mainly after signing the recent agreements in the framework of the Strategic Cooperation Council, the President said.
He added »Syrian-Turkish relations have already developed but in the last month they developed rapidly. With this development new problems come to surface. This doesn’t mean that we have to wait till we meet in this summit to address these problems…Tow days ago, Turkish Minister of Higher Education was in Syria to discuss issues of scientific research and a month before I received a governmental delegation in the domain of scientific research cooperation…Ten days ago, a Turkish delegation visited Syria to discuss the obstacles hindering export and import between the two countries in addition to the joint investments.»
Syrian and Turkish officials will meet to follow up solving obstacles
He continued »We discussed main topics in this regard and agreed on some steps…We will ask the officials to meet again to follow up solving these obstacles and go through their details…Relations between the two countries are moving rapidly and there are intensified meetings…Every month there is at least one or more delegations between the two countries to discuss these matters…Obstacles are constant.. We continue solving these obstacles but others appear. »
Syria is committed to the Turkish mediation
The Israelis are not used to honest mediation neither to successful mediation
Israel is not seeking peace
«President Gul and I discussed the peace issue… The logical question might be what peace you are talking about…There is no peace, there is no peace process, and there is no partner…. We agree upon this point in advance. But I assured President Gul Syria’s commitment to the Turkish mediation in which we see a solution – It is a problem at the same time – since the Israelis are not used to honest mediation neither to successful mediation because a successful mediation means achieving peace.»
«It seems that peace is not sought for by the Israelis…But we stress on the Turkish mediation and role, and confirm that Israel is not a partner, at least in the current phase. I don’t believe that it was a partner in the preceding stage. Nobody in this region forget what Ehud Olmert did when he wanted to respond to Prime Minister Erdogan within days on peace…the response was attacking Gaza and killing of thousands…We do not forget what is happening now in Gaza under the siege and what is happening in Jerusalem.»
«On this occasion, I thanked President Gul and naturally through him the Turkish people for what Turkey has recently done in sending aid to Gaza, an attempt to break the siege that may remain politically until we can at least ease its humane repercussions,» President al-Assad added.
Iraqi government has two tasks
He said that «regarding Iraq, viewpoints were in agreement on the next Iraqi government which has two tasks: Uniting all Iraqis in order to restore Iraq’s natural role. This, of course, means ending the occupation. The second point is that this government must be able to build good relations with Iraq neighboring countries.»
All countries have a right to possess peaceful nuclear energy
They should begin with inspection in Israel
Regarding the nuclear issue, President al-Assad said «We agree on the right of all countries to possess peaceful nuclear energy, in addition to freeing the Middle East from all weapons of mass destruction… Syria’s viewpoint is that they should begin with inspection in Israel, and then they can talk about the remaining countries.» «I wished to President Gul that the Turkish-Armenian relations would continue to develop despite all the setbacks – which are natural – that appear at the beginning of any relations,» he added.
President al-Assad congratulated the Turkish people for the launch of the TRT channel in Arabic, saying it will represent a new and parallel way for binding the brotherly relations between the Arab and Turkish peoples.
Nobody wishes war
The state of no-war, no-peace must end
In response to a question on the deterioration of the situation in the region, Israel’s beating war drums, Syria’s interpretation of this situation, and whether or not war is coming, President al-Assad said «I agree with my brother President Gul that nobody wishes war…The problem is that the state of no-war, no-peace must end with peace or war. Therefore, when we work with Turkey to achieve peace, we do that in order not to see what we don’t wish…The problem is that we can’t just wish, we must also move forward in this direction…When we see that a government took many steps against peace, then we are concerned that this means war…But this doesn’t mean that we predict as this remains a hypothetical answer.»
«Nobody knows what is being plotted…Even if the possibility is one percent, we work to prevent this possibility and we don’t spend time talking about percentages because when one percent becomes a reality it becomes 100 percent. Therefore the only solution is to work for achieving peace to prevent war even if the percentage is very low.»
On whether Syria is afraid of external or internal factors that may interfere to divert Syrian-Turkish relations to a track not wanted by the two countries, President al-Assad said «Any relation not protected, somebody will harm it because people are different…We can’t say that all the people in any place in the world have the same point of view on any subject… Like any other subject, there are different points of view towards Syrian-Turkish relations; either extremely ‘with’ or extremely ‘against’ or ‘in between’, but the general situation in this case is the public situation.»
«We can with all relief say that the general public situation is the situation which support this relation by the Syrian people or the Arabs in general and by the Turkish people…If this relation remained restricted to the official level – which is restricted to the people within it – it be maybe harmed if there is anyone who wants to do that in Syria or Turkey, «he added.
President al-Assad added, »Maintaining Syrian-Turkish relations is achieved by expanding them through getting down the pyramid…Relations start at the top of the pyramid before descending to the governmental, then the institutional and popular levels comprising various hues: the educated, academics, NGOs, trade relations and popular relations across borders…Only then can these relations become immune as we seek them to be, and therefore we cancelled visas which was an important step…and that’s why we assess the obstacles hindering communication among different categories at every stage.»
President al-Assad added, »Maintaining Syrian-Turkish relations is achieved by expanding them through getting down the pyramid…Relations start at the top of the pyramid before descending to the governmental, then the institutional and popular levels comprising various hues: the educated, academics, NGOs, trade relations and popular relations across borders…Only then can these relations become immune as we seek them to be, and therefore we cancelled visas which was an important step…and that’s why we assess the obstacles hindering communication among different categories at every stage.»
President al-Assad added, »Maintaining Syrian-Turkish relations is achieved by expanding them through getting down the pyramid…Relations start at the top of the pyramid before descending to the governmental, then the institutional and popular levels comprising various hues: the educated, academics, NGOs, trade relations and popular relations across borders…Only then can these relations become immune as we seek them to be, and therefore we cancelled visas which was an important step…and that’s why we assess the obstacles hindering communication among different categories at every stage.»
»There are interests and there’s an emotional part in this relation but part of it is built on interests …There’s no worry when we connect emotions with interests, and any group that could be harmed by or opposed to this relation can achieve nothing,» President al-Assad added.
President al-Assad went on to say, »I have something to add on this question, and my answer is theoretical because your question is hypothetical. If you ask me if this happened I can say: No…Practically, we have never noticed any attempt in Turkey over the process of this relation, at least since 2004 until now, to obstruct it, and the same applies in Syria, and what we are talking about is a general matter for any two countries, but concerning Syria and Turkey, we have never seen any single attempt in this regard,».
On the Iranian nuclear issue and the Turkish mediation in this regard, President al-Assad said, »We discussed this and I asked President Gul that Turkey continues its important role on the basis of trust that developed between the Turkish and Iranian governments and Turkey’s broad relations with world countries, but any political move must be based on a reference which is to be the basis for any initiative or viewpoint.»
»We are among countries that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and any initiative must be built on this agreement which clearly entitles any country to possess peaceful nuclear energy while at the same time defining mechanisms to monitor the activities of this country,» the President added.
Western countries have gone beyond the NPT
»The problem which this file has been going through for years, along with the whole region, is that countries which came up with initiatives, especially western countries, have bypassed the NPT with respect to monitoring and brought the issue outside the IAEA to the Security Council, and when it comes to the content of the initiatives presented by these countries there was ambiguity regarding any country which possesses this energy and replaced this reference with trust and that we trust or don’t trust this country…A simple question: Who trusts these countries in the first place, and who gave them right to tell who is to be trusted and who is not?»
President al-Assad went on to say, »International relations are not built on confidence… Personal relations are built on trust, which later could be built on institutional work, systems, laws, mechanisms…etc, and then the solution is abiding by Non-Proliferation agreements and all other details and initiatives will lead nowhere or any solution,»
»I believe that Turkey, like Syria and many other countries, support the stance that everything must be done in compliance with the international agreements, which we call international legitimacy. They speak about the international community and violate international legitimacy…This carries contradiction…And this is how Syria sees it.»
In reply to a question on awakening Arab and Muslims to confront Israeli judaization attempts, demolishing houses, burning mosques and expanding settlements, President al-Assad asked: »What role can the international community play to stop Israeli practices? Unless Israel pays the price and feels the consequences of its unacceptable measures on the international levels, this talk will remain mere condemnation and denunciation with no tangible results.»
»We cannot answer on behalf of the Islamic countries…This can be achieved collectively and not only by Syria…Either way, we don’t have relations with Israel and nothing will change for us…Our stance is clear enough…We have lands under occupation, but Turkey has relations with Israel and many world countries can affect Israel…, but there’s an Islamic bloc, as we said earlier, which needs discussion with Islamic countries… The international bloc has started to at least condemn…maybe this is a positive step but I can say this discussion will lead us nowhere», the President added.
Gul: Significant developments have taken place in Turkish-Syrian relations
For his part, President Gul pointed out in his speech that Turkey shares long borders with Syria, and that there are big joint projects for the interests of the two countries’ peoples, noting that important and significant developments have recently taken place in both countries, and that relations between them, carried out by officials and on the popular levels, are based on solid foundations.
«We held talks with my friend President al-Assad as well as bilateral talks among delegations…We saw that relations are developing well …we are satisfied… canceling visas had a significant impact, as well as the Free Trade Zone between the two countries that helps develop trade relations, something we care greatly about because we believe that rapprochement between the two countries brings us closer and closer.»
«Political stability and trust between the two countries will bring stability to the region. It will achieve security and happiness,» President Gul said, expressing support for relations in scientific fields and developing them further, He noted that signing of two agreements today in the fields of customs and media was a proof for what the two countries are doing.
We are concerned with peace talks, particularly between Syria and Israel
President Gul went on to say «We discussed the Iranian nuclear problem and affirmed the need to resolve it diplomatically… We are also concerned with peace talks, particularly between Syria and Israel, between Lebanon and Israel, and Palestine and Israel… we are very concerned with solutions… I thank my dear brother President of Syrian Republic for the trust he gave us in this regard.»
He added that Syria and Turkey stressed the need for an Iraqi government that expresses the will of the Iraqi people, which will have significant indicators and will help stabilize the region.
Answering a question on war drums in the region, President Gul said «First of all, we don’t want to hear the word ‘war’ as the region can no longer bear a burden like that. What had happened in Gaza had poured water from the pot. This region cannot bear any activities similar to war. Nobody in the world can be sympathetic with war or indifferent to it. Therefore we do not want to see or hear anything of this kind. «Everyone must specify policies and take steps delicately accordingly,» he added.
On how the improvement of Syrian-Turkish relations reflected on Turkish-Israeli relations, Gul pointed out that Syrian-Turkish relations are based on solid foundations and that the two peoples are brothers which makes these relations natural, affirming that he and President al-Assad are working on various levels to bolster these relations and develop them.
In reply to a question about the reactivation of Turkey’s role in the resumption of indirect talks between Syria and Israel, in light of the presence of the extremist government in Israel, President Gul said that there is a real fact that no results could be reached to through war, but rather through diplomacy and dialogue, this has been proved globally. That is why there is a big problem in the region. This problem is not only the issue of Arabs and Israel, it is rather the most important to the entire world after the Second World War this has been proved globally.
«The most important cause faced by the whole world, following World War Second, was Mideast Peace Process, which actually was the source for several events taking place in the far regions of the world.»That is why, the priority for the whole world is the achievement of Mideast Peace, starting from Israel and Palestine and the foundation of Palestinian State on its soil. This is not sufficient; there are also Israel and Syria, Israel and Lebanon; a solution should be found to achieve permanent peace,» said President Gul.
‘Few years ago, based on the trust given by Syria- to the Turkish role- and the trust given by the then Israeli government, Turkey started to play its role. Turkey indeed made important steps to a certain extent; the whole world has seen that, even the Israeli government evaluated the point reached to and the just unbiased stance taken at that time by Turkey. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Gaza events, it was not possible to continue those efforts,» President Gul added.
Syria has expressed willingness to start the talks from the same point
»Once more, I do repeat that the Syrian side, starting from President al-Assad, has expressed willingness to start the talks from the same point. Syria has repeated this willingness several times. We thank the Syrians very much for their trust in the Turkish Government, their trust was not announced behind closed doors; it was rather announced before the entire world. However, we have heard only NO voice from the Israeli side!»
In reply to another question about the role of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in appealing to Arabs and Moslems to save Palestine, president Gul said: «Jerusalem is not only for the Palestinians, or just an Arab issue….It is rather the cause of the Islamic World. Excavations under Jerusalem and the measures taken against the City are dangerous.»
He pointed out that Turkey has discussed the issue of Jerusalem with many countries including Syria and the United States.
In presence of Presidents al-Assad and Gul a cooperation agreement in the field of press and information, and another agreement on the joint use of border crossing points of Qamishli, and Nassib were signed.
President al-Assad and Mrs. al-Assad started a two-day work visit to Istanbul Saturday. They were received by President Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Mrs. Gul.
President Bashar al-Assad and Mrs. al-Assad held a meeting with President Gul and Mrs. Gul. Later, President Gul and Mrs. Gul held a dinner banquet in honor of President al-Assad and Mrs. al-Assad.

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