GeriGündem Turkey says Obama's messages to Muslim world promote greater unity
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Turkey says Obama's messages to Muslim world promote greater unity

Turkey says Obama's messages to Muslim world promote greater unity
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ISTANBUL – The Turkish president said Wednesday that messages delivered by U.S. President Barack Obama in Turkey create a positive atmosphere that pave the way for unity among Muslim and Arab countries.

Obama's messages to the Muslim world created a positive atmosphere in the world, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said in a speech to Bahrain's parliament.

"In this respect, the time is right for the entire world, especially the Muslim world and Arab countries, to voice their opinions in unity," Gul, the first foreign statesman to address the Bahraini parliament, was quoted by Anatolian Agency as saying.

Trying to repair America's damaged image abroad, Obama said on a visit to Turkey earlier this month that the United States was not at war with Islam.

Gul said that changes in U.S. foreign policy, initiated by the Obama administration, were valuable and that it was now right time to openly voice their opinions to the world.

The Turkish president said the Muslim world should remove divisions and differences of opinion as soon as possible, and added that Turkey, as a European Union candidate country, could express the concerns and views of the Muslim world in the EU.

Nuclear arms-free Mideast

Gul also called for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, hoping that a U.S.-Russian pledge to join forces to eradicate nuclear weapons will encourage the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have pledged to seek a deal by July on cutting their nuclear arsenals, work for a nuclear-free world and coordinate policy on Iran and North Korea.

"The Middle East should be a zone free of weapons of mass destruction," Reuters quoted Gul as telling the Bahrain's parliament.

"We are going through times where hopes for multilateral diplomacy to weigh in once again are on the rise. That is why I take the new U.S. administration's statements on disarmament and the joint statement by presidents Obama and Medvedev early this month very seriously," he added.

Gul called on all countries in the Middle East to sign up to international arrangements for the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea also have declared nuclear weapons. Israel is widely understood to have a nuclear arsenal but maintains a policy of ambiguity.

Iran is suspected by Western powers of wanting to join the club. Tehran however says its nuclear program is only for the generation of electricity. There is concern that Iran's nuclear power program will spur a proliferation drive in the Middle East.

Turkey has relaunched a push to help solve regional conflicts ranging from Iran to the Israel-Syria peace talks. It has also offered to help end the standoff between the West and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.

"Turkey has always pointed out that any solution to the issue of the Iranian nuclear program should be found through diplomacy and peaceful means," Gul said.


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