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Turkish government to up Middle East diplomacy efforts

22 December 2009 [16:49] - TODAY.AZ
Diplomats say the Damascus meeting set for Wednesday will be the next step to mend fences between the two neighboring countries after decades of enmity.

Prime Minister Erdoğan, who will be accompanied by nine of his Cabinet ministers, will chair the first prime ministerial meeting of the Turkish-Syrian high-level strategic cooperation council

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will fly to Damascus late Tuesday to chair a meeting of a high-level strategic cooperation council with Syria, marking the next step for Turkish-led diplomacy in the Middle East.

“Relations with Syria have entered an unprecedented, new and exciting phase. Turkish diplomacy toward the region was much criticized, but today all other countries keep an eye on Syria, and the U.S. will soon appoint an ambassador,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“That shows we are on the right path; the opening toward Syria has pushed Iran to more isolation,” the diplomat said. “We have full cooperation with Syria on its opening up to the world. The prime minister’s visit will deliver important messages to international diplomatic quarters.”

Diplomats say the Damascus meeting set for Wednesday will be the next step to mend fences between the two neighboring countries after decades of enmity. It will be a follow-up to the foreign ministerial meeting in October that began in Aleppo and finished in Turkey’s Gaziantep province after the ministers’ visa-free travel.

Erdoğan will be accompanied by nine Cabinet ministers, those for foreign affairs, interior, state, industry, justice, health, transportation, agriculture and environment. A series of deals will be concluded on cooperation in the areas of water, health, transportation, navigation, standardization, civilian aviation and higher education.

//Hurriyetdailynews/
URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/58431.html

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