Turkey hosts quadrilateral meeting to ease Syria-Iraq tensions
www.chinaview.cn 2009-09-18 01:00:40   Print

    ISTANBUL, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Arab League (AL) met here on Thursday to establish a dialogue between Syria and Iraq, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

    The meeting was attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem and AL Secretary General Amr Moussa.

    The report quoted Davutoglu as saying that officials decided to set up a security mechanism among Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

    Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that they hoped to protect the region from terrorist activities and to restore peace and stability in the region.

    The top Turkish diplomat said Syria and Iraq are good neighbors of Turkey and respectable AL members, though there were some disagreements between Damascus and Baghdad.

    Relations between Iraq and Syria deteriorated after Baghdad alleged that Damascus is sheltering suspects linked to massive bombings, targeting government ministries in Baghdad on Aug. 19, while Damascus said it wanted evidence from Baghdad.

    The tension between two countries escalated on Aug. 25 when they withdrew their respective ambassadors.

    Davutoglu expressed pleasure over the determination shown at the meeting to cooperate to find those who staged attacks on Iraqi government and people.

    Moussa said that there was need for time to solve some problems caused by the general chaos in the Middle east.

    "But I guess that we are walking on the right and strong path," Moussa told a press conference in Istanbul.

    Moussa said that he was defining the situation as a summer cloud and hoped it is overcome soon.

    The AL chief said that a comprehensive Turkish-Arab forum would be organized soon on political, economic and cultural issues, which is important for not only the region but also the entire world.

    He said Thursday's meeting could be helpful in ensuring harmony between Iraq and Syria and reducing tension between the media of the two countries.

    On Sept. 9, Syrian foreign minister said following a quadrilateral meeting of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and AL in Cairo that he reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart to stop media campaigns and speed up returning ambassadors.

    Moussa also noted that regional problems should be solved rapidly and fairly to ensure security of all countries in the geography.

    Davutoglu said at the press conference that "We have held a very constructive meeting to overcome tension between the two countries."

    "Maintaining this atmosphere of confidence is of utmost importance," he said.

    He added that Turkey was determined to maintain this process and further improve relations between Iraq and Syria, and would continue to work on confidence-building measures, security and diplomacy.

    The Turkish host said the three countries would also discuss specific steps to be taken from now on, and Turkey was thinking of a new meeting under the margin of the United Nations.

    A series of bomb attacks on targets including government buildings in Baghdad on Aug. 19 killed over 100 people and injured hundreds more.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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