Turkish president: Syria key to solving Middle East problems

Syria is the key to solving the problems in the Middle East, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Thursday. Speaking to the Syrian SANA news agency ahead of Friday's trip to Damascus, Gul said Syria "must not be ignored" and that the West "must recognize the country's diplomatic importance." Gul praised the close relations between Damascus and Ankara, and said there was full cooperation between the two sides on all Middle East issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.