Turkish PM: No objection to cooperation with Israel [Archives:2005/890/Front Page]

October 31 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A- Oct. 26- Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey has left Sana'a last Wednesday night after a two-day official visit to Yemen. In conclusion of his visit, the Turkish official held a press conference at the Sana'a International Airport in which he highlighted what has been agreed upon by Yemen and Turkey.

At the press conference, Mr. Erdogan pointed out the discussions focused on the bilateral relations between the two Muslim countries and the regional issues of joint concern, such as the developments in Iraq and the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the developments in Cyprus Island. Viewpoints on such issues appeared to be similar.

The Turkish Prime Minister described his meeting with President Ali Abdullah as a fruitful as he listened to what is related to the enhancement of economic, trade, political and cultural cooperation.

In conclusion of the Yemeni-Turkish official discussions, Prime Minister Erdogan said the visit and results of the discussions were all fruitful and positive in terms of consolidating bilateral cooperation in the economic and investment areas.

He pointed out the agreements signed by both sides, concentrating on tax duality ban, environment protection cooperation and the cooperation in the field of oil and gas, will help expand the scope of joint interests between the two brotherly countries. He demonstrated the enthusiasm of Turkey and Yemen to activate solidarity between the Muslim nations and work on improving the mechanism of Islamic Conference Organization to have an integral role in serving Muslim nations.

“The visit was a chance for assessing the economic, trade and political ties between the two countries, and we felt the Yemeni political will to continue developing cooperation in different areas,” Erdogan said; “During the visit we discussed economic and trade matters, as well as the volume of trade exchange confirming that such exchange should not reflect facilities and energies in both countries.”

The Yemeni and Turkish prime ministers signaled out at the press conference that discussions between the two sides laid more emphasis on supporting the Islamic work through the Islamic Conference Organization and on cooperation for fighting terrorism.

The two sides strongly rejected associating terrorism with Muslims and expressed their hopes for success of the Islamic Conference on terror issues due to be held in Saudi Arabia.

At the conference, Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal said: “the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was characterized by extensive presence by Turkish businesspersons who met their Yemeni counterparts and discussed the investment opportunities and facilities related to air and sea transportation.

Senior Yemeni officials, among them Abdulqader Bajammal, PM, Ahmad Sufan Deputy PM and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Honor Mission, other ministers and MPs, the Turkish Embassy staff and the Turkish community members in Yemen all paid farewell to Mr. Erdogan at the Sana'a International Airport.

Press sources, including al-Shura Net, gave more preponderance that normalization with Israel is beyond the frequent visits of the Jordanian King and Turkish Prime Minister to Yemen and their joint discussions with President Saleh who is due to receive Parviz Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Observers hold the view that Yemen is likely to enter the process of normalization with Israel in response to external pressures and escapism from internal privileges, according to frequent international reports, which revealed domestic persistent demands for political reforms and eradication of corruption in the country.

The visit due to be paid by President Saleh to the U.S. on Nov. 9, observers believe, may include a discussion of the normalization with Israel.

At the press conference, concluding his visit to Sana'a, Erdogan confirmed there was no objection to the political, economic, trade and military cooperation with Israel.

It is known that Turkey is an Asian country with a European color and its close ties with Israel is governed by joint interests that make it play the role of intermediary to pave the way for normalizing with Israel.