Davutoglu and Kerry agree on holding a meeting on Syria

07 April 2013 –  ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US State Secretary John Kerry agreed on holding a meeting about Syria. In a joint press conference with Kerry, Davutoglu told reporters on Sunday that they agreed to hold a meeting of “Friends of Syria Group” as soon as possible. Noting that March had been the most “bloody” month for the past two years in Syria, Davutoglu said that nearly 7,000 Syrians had been killed in March.

We also discussed the steps which could be taken about Middle East peace process and two-state solution, added Davutoglu.

Recalling that he held phone talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashal on Saturday, Davutoglu said that Kerry would proceed from Turkey to Israel and Palestine to hold meetings. Turkey would stick to its policy about Palestinian issue, said Davutoglu, adding that Turkey would support two-state solution and exert efforts to contribute in solution process.

Iraq was another topic we have discussed, said Davutoglu.

We agreed that a political dialogue process based on share of power and sources which was participated by all groups within the scope of territorial integrity of Iraq was essential, he added.

Regarding Cyprus issue, Davutoglu said that a “window of opportunity” was opened following the elections in the Greek Cypriot administration, and if this opportunity was assessed right, it would be the right time to take action for a permanent peace in Cyprus.

Davutoglu: we should progress in three basic conditions in relations with Israel

Davutoglu said that the important thing was to take rational and principled steps, and make progress in three basic conditions in relations with Israel. Apology issue was solved; talks will be held about compensation issue; and the third condition is the lifting of embargoes (on Gaza) in which commitments have been made previously, added Davutoglu who held a joint press conference with US State Secretary John Kerry in Istanbul. After nine Turks were killed in a fatal Israeli raid on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ aid ship back in May 2010, one of the conditions Turkey asked from Israel was an apology to the victims’ families, besides paying compensation to these families, and lifting embargoes on Gaza in order to turn back the relations with Israel normal.

Davutoglu said that Turkey’s role in Middle East peace process was a part of restructuring of the region, adding that if there would be order in the Middle East, rise of a Palestinian state would be one of the most inseparable parts of that order.

Kerry also held a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and then departed from Istanbul.

US state secretary praises Turkey’s efforts to end violence

Kerry said regarding the solution process for Kurdish issue in Turkey that they welcomed and admired Turkey’s efforts to end violence by using peaceful ways.

Holding a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry said that they discussed fight against terrorism with Turkish delegation today, and praised Turkish government’s efforts to end violence, while expressing pleasure over PKK terrorist organization’s decision to lay down arms.

Noting that none of the peace processes had been easy, Kerry said that there would be hard steps before Turkey but peace would recover the lives of Turkey’s all citizens, and have good impact on other peoples in the region.

Regarding Syria issue, Kerry said that Turkey had been very kind towards Syrian citizens, adding that Turkey opened its borders and hosted thousands of refugees.

A core meeting of Friends of Syria Group would be held soon, he added.

Commenting on the developments after Israeli apology to Turkey, Kerry said that Turkey and Israel were vital allies of the US, and he expressed hope that Turkey and Israel would agree to normalize relations which would open doors for greater cooperations.

Kerry also said that Turkey was a key country which made important contributions in peace process in the Middle East.–davutoglu-and-kerry-agree-on-holding-a-meeting-on-syria