Turkey, Syria sign host of new cooperation pacts
Turkey and Syria yesterday took another step towards even deeper bilateral cooperation, to the benefit of both themselves and the region, by signing 11 cooperation agreements in various areas. "Welcome home," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Syrian officials visiting Ankara for the second meeting of the bilateral High-Level Strategic Council, co-chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Muhammad Naji al-Otri. "The cooperation between Turkey and Syria," said Davutoglu, "constitutes a model for the entire region, which has been closely watching its success, for if it succeeds, this will not only affect ties between our countries, but will also improve the unfortunate destiny of the region." Eleven government ministers from the Turkish side and 13 from the Syrian one participated in yesterday's talks. The cooperative spirit between the two neighboring countries has rapidly spread across the region, with many countries taking initiatives to start similar high-level strategic cooperation mechanisms among each other, Davutoglu said. "We have held very frequent meetings with Syrian officials over the last year, and in this time have made perhaps a decade's worth of progress," he added. "The Turkish-Syrian friendship will endure forever. No provocation or external factor will be able to harm this friendship. In time, the whole world will also see the wonderful fruits of this friendship." Also speaking at the meeting, Syrian Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani stressed that Erdogan and Assad's vision has helped cement the friendship and cooperation between Turkey and Syria.