Turkish FM warns of delicate situation in the Middle East

Ali Babacan says he wants to Syria participate in the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast peace conference.

By
October 7, 2007 16:06
1 minute read.
Turkish FM warns of delicate situation in the Middle East

babacan 224 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Turkey's foreign minister warned Sunday of escalating tensions in the Middle East and said the region is currently passing through a "very delicate" and sensitive stage. Speaking in Damascus at a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Moallem, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said he hoped to see progress at an upcoming US-sponsored Mid East peace conference "on all tracks, including Syria." He did not elaborate, but in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat newspaper published Sunday, Babacan said he hopes to see Syria participate in the conference, scheduled to be held in late November in the United States. "We want the conference to achieve tangible results and not be just another meeting," he said. "If we want to achieve just and comprehensive peace, all (peace) tracks must be discussed." At the press conference Sunday, Babacan said his country, which maintains good relations with both Syria and Israel, would continue its efforts to achieve peace in the region. Turkish media had reported that Babacan would play a mediation role between Syria and Israel. Syria has said it will not attend the planned conference if Israel's presence in the Golan Heights, captured from Syria by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, would not be addressed along other issues. Babacan, who arrived in Damascus on Saturday, delivered a message from Turkish President Abdullah Gul to President Bashar Assad on Sunday. Babacan said the talks were "constructive and useful." He warned that the region was passing through a "very delicate and sensitive stage, particularly in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon." Al-Moallem said he discussed with Babacan, among other things, an upcoming conference of Iraq's neighbors to be held in Istanbul, Turkey later this month. The Turkish minister is on a regional tour that includes Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.

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