Gul sees vital Saudi-Turkish role for peace


It was “a wise decision” since the initiative has laid a strong foundation for a comprehensive solution to the conflict in the region on the basis of justice and right, Gul told the editors-in-chief of the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Hayat and Al-Madina during an interview in Ankara recently.

The president also felt that at the Kuwait summit last month, King Abdullah had done the right thing when he sent out a warning to Israel in reference to the Arab peace initiative that “no dossier can remain on the table for ever.”

Besides, the Kingdom and Turkey share the view that the Palestinian factions must unite and prevent division in their ranks, Gul said.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the Kingdom, the president said Riyadh and Ankara must get a hold of the region’s crises before they develop into a full blown dispute.
He noted that the Kingdom and Turkey have parallel views on international, regional and Middle East issues. He said the two countries understand thoroughly the multifaceted threats posed by terrorism and support every effort to eliminate the scourge.

Referring to Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza, the Turkish president said the Jewish state had exploited the crisis under the pretext of confronting a “despicable movement” and convincing the world that it has a security problem.

He said the Arab peace initiative has made it clear to the world that the Arab countries would guarantee Israel’s security if the conditions tabled were met.

Moving on, the president touched on the mechanism of continuous political consultation between the Kingdom and Turkey and the creation of channels of dialogue between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council so as to promote better relations.

He said both the Kingdom and Turkey attach the utmost importance to stability in the region.

At Saudi-Turkish summit meetings, regional security tops the agenda, covering every aspect of the issue, including combating terrorism, he said.

When security is on the wane, the principle of kindness also fades out, the president said, reiterating that the Kingdom and Turkey have a thorough understanding of all the conflicts in the region.

Gul said that Turkey had urged Hamas after its election victory to change its course of action and contain the crisis, “but this has not been implemented on the ground.”
He rued that those who were harmed in the end were the Palestinian people in Gaza and not Hamas.

Palestinian unity must be a basic condition, he emphasized, maintaining that nothing affects the Palestinian cause more than discord and differences among the Palestinians.

Speaking about Iraq, the president said the Saudi-Turkish role remains important in aborting every attempt to divide that country, since the fire that could erupt in Iraq would affect the entire region.

Gul also expressed Turkey’s opposition to nuclear weaponization of any country in the region. Differences should be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue, he said.
Recalling the long history of cooperation and coordination between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the president said these remain the best means for mutual advancement in the economic, cultural and defense spheres, which would benefit not only the two countries but also the region and the world.

The need of the hour, he said, is to be “ready and frank in our demands, and united and strong in answering these demands.”


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