Davutoglu and Kerry agree on holding a meeting on Syria
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday met in at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul. Following the meeting, a joint press conference was held by Davutoglu and Kerry. During the press conference, Davutoglu said that weshould progress in three basic conditions in relations with Israel. Referring to the apology offered by Israel to Turkey over a fatal raid on the Mavi Marmara aid ship back in May 2010, Davutoglu said, "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." Stating that they also discussed the steps which could be taken about Middle East peace process and two-state solution, 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. Davutoglu also said that they agreed to hold a meeting of "Friends of Syria Group" as soon as possible. Speaking for his part, Kerry said that relations between Turkey and Israel are of great importance to the continuation of the peace process in the Middle East region. "We would like to see this [Turkish-Israeli] relationship that is important to stability in the Middle East, critical to the peace process itself, we would like to see this relationship get back on track in its full measure," Kerry said. Kerry stated that it was not up to Washington to set a deadline for Turkey and Israel to normalize ties but stressed the importance of restoring a full relationship between the two countries. Kerry also said that they discussed fight against terrorism with Turkish delegation and praised Turkish government's efforts to end violence, while expressing pleasure over PKK terrorist organization's decision to lay down arms.