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Gul welcomes Tunusian counterpart at Cankaya Presidential Palace

Gul welcomes Tunusian counterpart at Cankaya Presidential Palace


President Abdullah Gul welcomed his Tunisian counterpart Moncef Marzouki with an official ceremony at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara on Tuesday. After the delegational talks, Gul held a joint press conference with Marzouki. Speaking at the press conference, Gul reiterating the great development and solidarity the bilateral relations between the two countries have achieved since the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. "The first torch of the Arab Awakening was lit in Tunisia and it will always be proud of that. After the Tunisian people demolished the walls of fear, the other Arab countries took this example and achieved with great courage their revolutions. The revolution was achieved with a minimum cost and it is continuing with maturity, considering the successful parliamentary, presidential and general elections and the ongoing reforms based on democracy, the rule of law and human rights. A new constitution will also be prepared as per these values soon and Tunisia will serve as a good example for others in this regard as well." Gul said. During the press conference, Gul also welcomed a decision made by the European Union to lift an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, while maintaining all sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as of June 1. "It will be understood that people cannot be oppressed by weapons and armed forces. Therefore, we welcome the move by the international community to protect and support the opposition," Gul said, adding that the "fever" in Syria should not spill out. For his part, President Marzouki of Tunisia said he supports the unification of the Syrian opposition as well as the Geneva peace conference. However, Marzouki also voiced his displeasure over young Tunisian people joining the ranks of the opposition in war-torn Syria in an effort to topple Assad's regime. "Some of our deceived young people are going to Syria to fight there. They are being trained there. They are being dragged into a civil war. We don't approve of this situation," Marzouki, said, adding, "We will support a political solution in Syria and the unification of the opposition. We hope that the Geneva II conference will bring a solution to the crisis." Prior to the press conference, the following agreements were signed between the relevant departments of the two governments: Social Security Agreement, Bilateral Cooperation Protocol on Television, Memorandum of Understanding in Technology.

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