Israeli Paper: Turkey May Fund HAMAS

Turkey may reportedly replace Hamas’ chief financier, Iran, to alleviate the Gaza ruling party’s financial pain as it has faced difficulty in receiving aid from the Islamic republic.

Haniye with Turkish Premier Erdogan in the AKP group building.

Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Turkish sources on Saturday that stated Gazan Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh conveyed his party’s financial difficulties to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his first visit to Turkey and that Turkey is seriously considering funding Hamas.

The report added that Haniyeh explained to Erdoğan in some detail the financial difficulties Hamas has faced after expected aid from Iran didn’t arrive on time and was significantly decreased.

Foreign aid is essential to helping Palestinians survive, including in Gaza, which, though ruled by Hamas, receives almost half of the Palestinian Authority’s budget in social services and salaries. It said Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has left Syria for good and is considering moving the party’s headquarters to Qatar or Jordan.

Mashaal, 55, has been based in Damascus since 2001, fearing for his safety and restriction of movement in Gaza. He has been the chief of Hamas since 1996, responsible for setting policy and planning operations against Israel.

Earlier this month Haniyeh toured Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia. It was the first time he has left Gaza since Israel siege in 2007. He is also expected to visit Iran, Qatar and other Muslim countries at the end of this month. Hamas officials say the goal of Haniyeh’s trip was to improve ties with Muslim countries swept up in the uprisings shaking the Arab world.

An aide to Haniyeh said earlier this month that he would meet leaders in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Qatar, Bahrain and Turkey and discuss rebuilding the Gaza Strip, which suffered damage during a month-long Israeli offensive in 2008-09.

WB

Davutoglu: NATO threatens neither Iran, nor Russia

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has given an interview to Interfax in the wake of negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow in which he speaks about pressing international issues like Syria and Iran, as well as Turkish-Russian energy cooperation.

Question:At a press conference with Mr. Lavrov I noticed that you never mentioned that Turkey insists on Bashar Assad stepping down. Does this mean that Turkey still thinks that if Bashar Assad makes all the necessary reforms he can stay in power and he does not have to leave?

Answer:Syrian people will decide on this: who will be in power or who will not be in power, not us. But I think that who fights against his own people cannot have legitimacy. Therefore, the important thing is how Syrian people perceive the Syrian regime and President Bashar Assad. That is to decide for the people of Syria. The important thing is that Syrian people was not given the right to decide on this. Now the massacre must be stopped, the Syrian losses should be ending, and there should be no more attacks against civilians in the cities by the army, and full security and reforms should be together. That‘s our position. We ask Bashar Assad to listen to his own people.

Q.:If the Syrian crisis ends and Bashar Assad stays in power, will there be a possibility of improving relations…

A.:That is an ‘if-question‘. No president can stay if conflicting with his own people this scenario is impossible. Leaders and regimes an survive only if there is a support by the people of that country. Fighting against people and staying in power is not possible.

Q.:The Russian side has repeatedly insisted that the international community must do its best to stop violence either from the authorities of Syria and the armed opposition. Do you agree with this approach?

A.:Of course, the Syrian administration must stop using army against the people and should stop [] casualties and at the same time we always advise the Syrian opposition to express themselves people peacefully and using peaceful methods to express their demands. But the problem here is that the Syrian regime does not allow to demonstrate peacefully. That‘s the problem.

Q.:Turkish authorities have same contacts with a part of the Syrian opposition, it gives its territory for the Syrian opposition to meet and discuss the problems. Does Ankara has any relations with armed opposition in Syria?

A.:Turkey is democratic country. Everybody can met in Turkey. Even Syrian opposition meets in Turkey, even those who are supporting the Syrian regime meet in Turkey. Turkey is a free country, but we never supported any armed group in any country. Turkey has been a place where refugees, those who are escaping from oppression, can come to Turkey, and they are coming. There are 9,500 Syrian refugees staying in Turkey. They are our guests because they are our relatives and there are our ancestors escaping from oppression.

Q.:What do you think about the new EU sanctions on the Syrian regime? Do you think it will help to solve the problem?

A.:Unfortunately, the Syrian administration did not listen to our advice: the advice of its neighbors, like Turkey, the advice of Arab countries of the region and the advice of the international community, including Russia and others, for functioning the reform process and providing security to the civilians. This is the problem. Therefore, that is the Syrian administration responsibility to fulfill this.

Q.:Recently the EU has imposed an oil embargo on Iran. Ankara has good relations with Tehran. Is there any possibility that Turkey can increase supplements of Iranian oil to help Iran to go thorough this negative period?

A.:We have very good relations with Iran, and we have been working very hard for the negotiations with Iran within P5+1. This policy, Turkish policy, will continue in order to find a solution, peaceful solution to this issue. And of course the UN Security Council resolutions are binding, but other unilateral sanctions are not binding, and Turkish-Iranian economic relations will continue within the framework the international law.

Q.:Turkey is a NATO member. NATO does not hide that the target of its European anti-missile shield…

A.:There is no special reference to any special country regarding the missile defense issue.

Q.:But various politicians say…

A.:I do not see any NATO statement officially made by any NATO official declaring the name of any country as a threat or a target regarding the missile defense system.

Q.:Does Turkey think that Iran poses any nuclear threat to Europe?

A.:No. Not to us, Turkey. We do not see such a threat. We do not see any threat from any of our neighbors.

Q.:And what about Europe?

A.:That is not an issue for us. For us we do not see any threat. And NATO makes no reference to any country: neither to Iran, nor Russia.

Q.:You spoke today about the Turkish-French relations. Turkey said it will take some time in order to answer the French legislators who decided to criminalize the denial of the Armenian genocide. What measures you were talking about?

A.:Now we are waiting for the constitutional process to be finalized. There is an attempt by some members of the Senate to go to the Constitutional Council, and we will wait for the results of this process. If these effort do not produce a positive result, than everybody will see our measures, but at this moment we are expecting the results of this process.

Q.:As far as I understood that that your negotiations with Mr. Lavrov were a part of preparations for the Russia-Turkey summit. Is there any specific date and place of the summit?

A.:This summit is Turkish-Russian High Level Cooperation Council meeting, which is being held annually. Every year one meeting is of joint strategic planning committee, what we did today. The other part is the summit. We plan the meeting in the coming months, of course it will be after the election in Russia. Then we expect the date from our Russian counterparts, the most appropriate date in the following months after the election.

Q.:And it will be organized in Turkey?

A.:Yes, in Turkey.

Q.:The Turkish energy minister said that Turkey is ready to talks about some partnership on South Stream as we know Turkey is not a partner in this project. Now Turkey is not a partner, it only give its territory. What this will look like?

A.:We think that it was giving permission to the construction of South Stream in the Turkish economic zone. This is a strategic decision in our bilateral cooperation. It show a strong political will on the Turkish side to cooperate with Russia on energy issues. I am sure there will be a huge potential on how to cooperate on all these issues, and our energy ministers will be talking this possible cooperation prospects.

Q.:Another energy question. Do you have any information about how the talks between Gazprom and private Turkish companies in order to replace the contract with Botas that expired last year.

A.:It is going well. It is the issue of mutual interest.

Q.:How did the last year bilateral agreement that increased the supplements of Russian gas to Turkey can influence the talks between Gazprom and private companies?

A.:This is an economic issues between the two campmates. So it absolutely another issue. The talks have continues. There is a potential between the two countries for official projects for future cooperation, so that is important. But the negotiations will continue between companies .

Q.:Let me return to Bashar Assad. Must the international community prosecute him, if he leaves his post?

A.: The Syrian people will decide on all of these issues. We cannot decide on their behalf. So an important thing for us as a neighbor of Syria is to complete this process in a peaceful manner based on aspirations of the Syrian people.

Interfax

Turkey, Britain sign military cooperation agreement

Turkey and Britain signed a military cooperation agreement during a three-day visit by President Abdullah Gül to London, a news report has said.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (C) speaks while Princess Michael of Kent (L) and Lord Mayor of London David Wootton listen during a state banquet at Guildhall in the City of London November 23.(Reuters)
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (C) speaks while Princess Michael of Kent (L) and Lord Mayor of London David Wootton listen during a state banquet at Guildhall in the City of London November 23.(Reuters)

The report, which appeared in Jane’s Defence Weekly, said details of the agreement were not available but that it followed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement in Ankara by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his British counterpart, David Cameron, in July 2010. The 2010 agreement commits the two countries to strengthen their defense ties through regular talks and cooperation in defense manufacturing.

The latest agreement was signed on Nov. 23 by British Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond and Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar.

“Turkey is an important ally of the UK and as NATO partners we [the UK and Turkey] are bound by a pledge of collective defense. This bilateral treaty will take our defense co-operation to a new level,” the British Ministry of Defense said after the signing of the accord.

Britain has historically been a significant supplier of military material to Turkey, accounting for 8 percent of Ankara’s military imports since 2000. Current British export efforts in relation to Turkey center on the BAE Systems-led Global Combat Ship (GCS) program, with Ankara seen as a potential partner, according to Jane’s Defence, which described Turkey as one of the world’s fastest growing defense markets.

 

 

 

24 November 2011, Thursday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Turkey seeks peshmerga cooperation in fight against PKK

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that Turkey is seeking cooperation with peshmerga forces in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) along its border with northern Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke during a news conference in Ankara after meeting with the editors-in-chief of the country's leading media outlets. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke during a news conference in Ankara after meeting with the editors-in-chief of the country's leading media outlets. (Photo: Today's Zaman)

Speaking during a news conference in Ankara after meeting with the editors-in-chief of the country’s leading media outlets, Erdoğan said he had requested Nechirvan Barzani, the number two of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq, visit Turkey in a phone call he made to Massoud Barzani, the leader of northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish government. “I told him that we have to sit down with them and evaluate the situation. Because I said we have things that need to be done with peshmergas as well. I said this very openly to him,” he said.

Recalling that Nechirvan Barzani met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Thursday morning and was scheduled to meet with him in the afternoon, Erdoğan said he would discuss Turkey’s counterterrorism plans. “These attacks are not just against Turkey but against Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood. This is a process which aims to destroy our brotherhood. We have to come over this together,” the Turkish prime minister added.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Davutoğlu on Thursday, Barzani also vowed further cooperation with Turkey against the PKK.  He said he rushed to Ankara to offer the condolences of the Kurdish regional government to Turkey. Stating that they believe that such attacks do not serve the interests of either the Turkish or Kurdish people, he said such attacks should not damage Kurdish-Turkish relations. Stating that bilateral meetings with Turkish officials will be held more often, Barazani underscored that the regional administration’s cooperation with Turkey will expand in many areas.

 

 

 

20 October 2011, Thursday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,

Space mission ‘challenge’ for Turkey, official says

Kiyoshi Higuchi, vice president of Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency, visits the Turkish capital Ankara as part of the planned cooperation with Japan for the development of space technology. ‘Turkey’s objective to send an astronaut to space by 2023 is not impossible, but they might face trouble,’ he says in an interview
Kiyoshi Higuchi, vice president of Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Kiyoshi Higuchi, vice president of Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Turkey’s objective to send an astronaut into space by 2023 will be a challenge, because the development of space technology is a strenuous and expensive process that is often snagged by failures, according to a Japanese aerospace official.

“It is not impossible. They might face trouble. It will be a challenge, but they should not hesitate to continue trying,” Kiyoshi Higuchi, vice president of Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), said in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News.

Higuchi, on a visit to Ankara as part of the planned cooperation with Japan for the development of space technology, stressed that Turkey’s booming economy could be an advantage in speeding up the process.

“Turkey’s economy has grown very dramatically. If the same rate of growth takes place with respect to technology, 12 years will not be impossible. Turkey has already reached some level of technology with a number of operational satellites in space,” he said.

Japan’s own development of an aerospace program was an uphill task that took several decades, Higuchi said, and his country was ready to share its experience.

“Japan had a very smooth start because we imported technology from the United States in 1970. After that we wanted to have our own domestic technology, which resulted in severe failures. It took us 10 years to understand and mature U.S. technology, and another 10 years to create our own. We want to share with Turkey how we conquered our struggles,” he said.

Drawing attention to the large resources that space technology requires, the Japanese official said the construction of a single large satellite, for instance, took several years of work by about 10,000 people.

“The technology imported must be at a level that can be understood by the country receiving it,” he said. “I don’t know if Turkey will acquire technology from Japan, but right now we have an agreement to cooperate and communicate.”

Second satellite will be built in Turkey

Several Turkish engineers are already in Japan as part of a deal with Japanese company Mitsubishi to manufacture the Türksat 4A satellite, which is set to launch next year. Under the deal, a second satellite will be built in Turkey by Turkish engineers, making the transfer of know-how crucial.

In 1999, the Turkish Air Force began work on the blueprints of a space program. In 2001, the government decided to set up an agency to establish the country’s space policy, but the plans were never materialized. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brought up the issue again this year during his election campaign.

“It is our recommendation and hope to have a counterpart in Turkey, a space implementation agency, to enhance our cooperation,” Higuchi said.

The would-be Turkish Space Agency (TUK) will determine the country’s space policy, with eventual objectives to protect Turkey’s rights in space, manufacture spacecraft and train astronauts. The Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK) has set 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, as the target date for launching a Turkish astronaut into space.

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Sera De Vor
ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News

Bildt: EU would be a more effective global player with Turkey

Reiterating Sweden’s support for Turkey’s accession to the EU, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that the EU would be a stronger global player if Turkey joined its ranks, as he met with his Turkish counterpart on Sunday to discuss Turkey’s process of accession to the European bloc, as part of an official visit to Turkey.

Swedish FM Carl Bildt
Swedish FM Carl Bildt

“It is up to Turkey to decide what is best for itself, but the EU with Turkey on board would be a stronger, more effective and dynamic global player,” Bildt said, adding that the country is one of the two most important strategic partners of the EU, alongside the US, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday. Bildt, a frequent visitor to Turkey, which hosts almost half a million Swedish tourists each year, once again voiced his support for the negotiation process between Turkey and the EU, and expressed hope that the obstacles in Turkey’s path to accession will be cleared.

Speaking about plans to arrange visa-free travel between the EU and Turkey, Bildt noted that the visa-free travel should be implemented in order to keep up the positive dialogue between both sides, but noted that under the current Schengen arrangement, such a comprehensive solution does not seem attainable. Bildt suggested that instead of a one-step solution, arrangements could be made between Turkey and individual European countries, with Sweden leading the way to set an example and ease its visa process with Turkey.

“Turkey is emerging as a very important partner, when you think about the developments in the Middle East and Africa, and Turkey’s role in them,” Anatolia quoted Bildt as saying, and proposed that the dialogue should be enriched to benefit both sides. Reiterating that Turkey and the US are the major strategic partners of the EU, Bildt added that Turkey is even more important than the US, since “Turkey is a European country,” and an EU candidate, and for that reason, Sweden extends its staunch and exclusive support for Turkey’s membership.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking after the meeting, said that what Turkey expects from the EU is that it will authorized the complete lifting of visa procedures for Turkey and begin negotiations to that end. Reminding reporters that Sweden is the strongest supporter of Turkey’s bid to join the EU, Davutoğlu said that he and Bildt discussed ways to create “a positive agenda” between Turkey and the EU, and overcome the obstacles on Turkey’s path to accession.

“The most suitable grounds for creating a positive agenda would be a visa waiver, in light of the political barriers blocking the negotiation chapters,” Davutoğlu suggested, and noted that it was during Sweden’s rotating presidency in 2009 that the issue of waiving visas came under extensive discussion around defined criteria. Davutoğlu also acknowledged that some countries stood up against waiving visas for Turkey, and while there were efforts to resolve that issue, Turkey was in the meantime evaluating what could be done on a individual-country basis.

Bildt also had separate meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gül and the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, on Monday.

Sweden, a country of critical importance to Turkey among other European bloc countries, due to its strong support and leverage in the accession period, has also been home to a population of about 100,000 Turks for decades.

 

 

 

17 October 2011, Monday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA

Turkish national defense minister leaves Baku after holding talks

Turkish National Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz departed from Azerbaijani capital of Baku on Friday after holding meetings with Azerbaijani Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov, Culture & Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev and other officials.

BAKU- Yilmaz said that national defense ministries of the two countries agreed to act and work together to strengthen armed forces.

Asked whether the two countries signed any agreement, Yilmaz said, “we have reached agreement. Technical teams of the two parties will come together and go forward with concrete projects.”

 

AA

16 October 2011

Prime Minister Erdoğan lashes out at EU over latest progress report, Cyprus

Turkish prime minister blamed EU for unfair treatment to Turkey in its recently published progress report and warned to cut dialogue with the EU if the Greek Cypriots take over its rotating presidency next year.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) on January 19, 2009 in this file photo. AFP photo.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) on January 19, 2009 in this file photo. AFP photo.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the European Union for “slinging mud” at Turkey in its latest accession progress report and disparaged the bloc over its financial woes.

Erdoğan ruled out any dialogue with the EU if the Greek Cypriots take over its rotating presidency next year and argued that rectifying injustices against the Turkish Cypriots had now become a “matter of honor” for the bloc.

“The progress report has once again shown the serious eclipse of reason at the EU. Turkey is closer to EU norms than ever and we all know why things are actually stuck,” Erdoğan said in a speech at his party’s gathering at Kızılcahamam, near Ankara, at the weekend.

“And their state of affairs is evident: they are crumbling, their currency is in disarray. But Turkey is up on its feet, and not thanks to them but to its own people,” he said.

Erdoğan pledged Turkey would stay on the path of reform, but said that abandoning the Turkish Cypriots will “not be the price we pay to overcome obstructions” in the accession process.

Stressing that Greek Cyprus was granted membership despite rejecting a reunification plan at the 2004 referendum, Erdoğan said: “This problem is now a matter of honor for the EU. They will either implement their 2004 decision and open the door for trade with the Turkish Cypriots or will continue to spoil the Greek Cypriot side and live with this shame forever.”

Erdoğan dismissed Greek Cyprus as “a country that is null and void for us,” adding that, “the EU will fail to find Turkey for six months” if the Greek Cypriots take over the EU presidency in July despite the island’s persisting division.

Decrying a Greek Cypriot drive for gas drilling in the east Mediterranean, he warned that “those who claim unilateral ownership of the island’s riches will see a multi-fold response by Turkey.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011
KIZILCAHAMAM – Hürriyet Daily News

Putin ready for ‘strategic visit’ to neighbor China

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will travel to China, the world’s largest energy consumer, tomorrow to cement long-standing ties where he may use the trip to show the West as emphasis on China.
Russian President Putin (L) and Chinese President Jintao shake hands before a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Shanghai in this file photo. Putin visits China in his first foreign trip since revealing plans to reclaim presidency. AFP photo
Russian President Putin (L) and Chinese President Jintao shake hands before a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Shanghai in this file photo. Putin visits China in his first foreign trip since revealing plans to reclaim presidency. AFP photo

Vladimir Putin visits China tomorrow in his first foreign trip since revealing plans to reclaim Russia’s presidency, addressing a challenging relationship with a giant neighbor whose growth is both an opportunity and a potential threat for Moscow.

For Putin, whose main focus has been domestic in nearly four years as prime minister, the trip sets in motion a return to forefront of Russian foreign policy ahead of a March election in which he is expected to win a six-year term as president.

The powerful prime minister last week talked up ties with China at an investor conference, his first major public address since the Sept. 24 announcement. “We have a huge common border with China. We have lived together for thousands of years,” he said. “Today our bilateral ties are perhaps at their highest level in history aside from a very brief Soviet postwar period.” The leaders will oversee the signing of a series of agreements, a Putin spokesman said, declining further details.

Beneath talk of strategic relations and shared stances on world affairs, wrangling over a gas pact worth a potential $1 trillion points up the tough issues he will confront in dealing with Russia’s far more populous, faster growing neighbor.

China, facing its own leadership transition next year, may try to gauge Putin’s plans for what could be 12 years at the helm of a country whose natural resources and nuclear arms make it a factor in Beijing’s economic and geopolitical strategies. “The significance of this trip exceeds that of a normal prime minister-level visit,” said Zhao Huasheng, director at the Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies at Shanghai’s Fudan University.

Putin will bring an army of executives including the CEOs of state-controlled energy firms Gazprom and Rosneft and aluminum producer UC RUSAL , all eager to exchange their wares for Chinese cash. His meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will feature warm affirmations of friendship and solidarity on big global issues between two countries that often move in lockstep to counter the United States and Europe.

China as a ‘foil’ against the West

Their double veto last week of a European-drafted, U.S.-backed U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters was a warning against Western meddling in their own countries and others worldwide. Putin may use the trip to show the West an emphasis on China as Russia’s geopolitical partner and a customer for its energy.

He did just that in a televised meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller on Oct. 3, pointedly ordering him to prepare proposals on expansion into Asian markets, seen as a way to diversify Russian energy exports away from stagnant Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev has not been cool to China since Putin steered him into the Kremlin after his own 2000-2008 presidency, but his emphasis has been on presenting a friendlier face to the West and improving ties with the United States. Putin’s meeting with Miller followed European Commission raids on offices of Gazprom subsidiaries in Europe that underscored persistent tensions over the continent’s heavy reliance on Russian gas, which EU members want to reduce. But China’s friendly political ties with Russia, and their partnership in the loose BRIC grouping that also includes India and Brazil, do not make Beijing less of a tough customer when it comes to energy deals.

While Putin may use China as a foil against the West, the pragmatic former KGB officer is well aware of such concerns. As he prepares for what could be two six-year terms as president, “the risks from China’s growth will be watched more closely than the opportunities”, said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs.

At an investor conference on Thursday, Putin used a joke to play down the challenge posed by China’s faster growth after TPG Capital co-founder David Bonderman outlined China’s path to becoming the world’s largest economy. “He got me worried. He said that the United States is so far the world’s biggest economy but China will undoubtedly take over. So we now need to keep our foreign currency reserves in yuan while the Chinese will keep them in dollars,” Putin said. “That will be an interesting Russian doll.”

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff

Sunday, October 9, 2011
MOSCOW
TDN

Turkish and British foreign ministers discuss Mid-East

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke with British Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs William Jefferson Hague on the phone.

Ankara – Diplomatic sources said on Monday that Davutoglu and Hague spoke on the phone on Sunday, and discussed issues about Middle East including Syria.

Hague had earlier said that Turkey’s being a member of the EU was a strategic necessity, and it would have economic advantages.

 
AA

3 October 2011