GeriGündem Turkey, Lebanon sign cooperation deal on terrorism and crime
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Turkey, Lebanon sign cooperation deal on terrorism and crime

Turkey, Lebanon sign cooperation deal on terrorism and crime
refid:10275918 ilişkili resim dosyası

Turkey and Lebanon on Monday signed an accord on cooperation against terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime.

The deal, details of which were not disclosed, was inked after talks between prime ministers, Fuad Siniora of Lebanon, and Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Siniora thanked Ankara for its recently intensified efforts to resolve long-standing conflicts in the Middle East.

"Turkey has a very important role to play in the Middle East. Turkey is already doing that by encouraging cooperation in the region," the Anatolian Agency quoted him as saying.

"We want to see a Middle East that has been denuclearized. Nuclear energy should be utilized for peaceful goals," Siniora said.

"Supporting terror will hurt the whole region and not just a single geographic location. The support of terror can not be justified with any religion," he added.

"Relations between Lebanon and Syria must take place by respecting the mutual independence of each other. Based on such understanding, Lebanese ministers may visit their counterparts in Syria," Siniora said when asked whether he will pay a visit to Syria.

Erdogan, for his part, hailed reconciliation efforts between Lebanon and Syria.

"The steps to be taken in Syrian-Lebanese relations are very important," he said. "We welcome their decision to establish diplomatic ties."

Last month, Syria and Lebanon announced the establishment of diplomatic ties for the first time since they became independent 60 years ago. The two neighbors are set to open embassies in each others capitals before the end of the year.

Since May, Turkey has mediated indirect peace talks between Israel, its chief regional ally, and Syria. Ankara has expressed hope that progress in the talks may also help the initiation of peace efforts between Israel and Lebanon.

Turkey also has a military contingent in the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was enhanced and expanded after Israel’s devastating 34-day war on Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon in 2006.

The two leaders also affirmed support for a comprehensive and fair peace process to solve all problems withheld in the Arab-Israeli conflict within the framework of the relevant U.N. resolutions, principles laid down at the Madrid Peace Conference and Arab Peace Initiative, the Anatolian Agency reported.

The two prime ministers also agreed that Palestinian territory in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Eastern Jerusalem can not be alienated from each other, it added.

Siniora was to wrap up his visit Tuesday.

 

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