Erdogan touts growing cooperation with Syria
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday touted Turkey 's expanding strategic cooperation with Syria , saying it helps both countries' economies prosper. Erdogan, speaking to Syrian news agency SANA, said Turkey and Syria are working together to remove Cold War-era obstacles that until recently stood in the way of closer ties between the two neighbors, which had previously lived in peace for centuries, thus putting "history back on track." Erdogan was speaking prior to a meeting of the bilateral High-Level Strategic Council, which began yesterday in Ankara . The two-day gathering of Turkish and Syrian government ministers is the second such meeting, following the first one a year ago. Twelve government ministers from the Turkish side and 13 from the Syrian side are participating in the talks, as well as the prime ministers. Syrian Prime Minister Naji Otri was due to meet with Erdogan at a dinner last night as part of the high-level meetings. Erdogan said the council helped to establish a solid base for Turkish-Syrian ties to flourish. He also praised Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying his long-term strategic vision played a key role in the rapid progress of bilateral ties.