President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey called on the nations of the region to cement regional cooperation and leadership in the fight against terrorism and instability in the Middle East. President Erdoğan was speaking at the International Peace Institute (IPI) Global Leaders Series presentation in Manama, Bahrain, that brought together an audience of more than 400 people from government, civil society, media, and the private sector.
Highlighting his concerns about the situation in Syria, President Erdoğan said, “We do not want Syria to be torn apart, we are against it, and you should know that there are those who work on dividing Syria and Iraq at the same time, by exploiting sectarian differences.”
President Erdoğan disclosed plans to “create a terror-free safe zone 4,000 to 5,000 square kilometers inside Syria.” This zone will enable those who have been displaced from their homes to find refuge. He called on Turkey’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners to provide support and invest in infrastructure, so that those affected by violence can begin to rebuild communities.
The Turkish leader reiterated that regional cooperation was also required to address conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and occupied Palestinian territories. He emphasized that regional stability could not be achieved in the long run if the longstanding Palestinian crisis is not addressed first. He reiterated that regional partners have a responsibility to actively define a collective approach to these conflicts in order to secure peace in the region. He stressed the importance of cooperation and integration across various sectors.
Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa also expressed his gratitude to the International Peace Institute for organizing the event and providing the forum for Mr. Erdoğan to share his vision for peace in the Middle East.
The event was moderated by Nejib Friji, Director of IPI’s Middle East and North Africa Office (IPI MENA).
“Erdogan lays out Turkish plan to create safe zones in Syria” (Xinhua , February 14, 2017)
“Erdogan urges joint anti-terror efforts from GCC countries” (Famagusta Gazette, February 14, 2017)
“‘On This Geography, Both Our Sufferings And Fates Are Joined‘” (Public, February 14, 2017)
“Erdogan calls for safe zone in northern Syria” (The Peninsula, February 13, 2017)
“Turkey aims to create Daesh-free zone in northern Syria, Erdogan says” (Daily Sabah, February 13, 2017)
“Erdogan lays out Turkish plan to create safe zones in Syria” (TRT World, February 13, 2017)
Al Wasat, February 14, 2017
Akhbar Al Khaleej, February 14, 2017
Akhbar Al Khaleej Online, February 14, 2017
Al Bilad, February 14, 2017
Al Bilad Online, February 14, 2017
Al Watan, February 14, 2017
Al Ayam, February 14, 2017
Al Ayam Online, February 14, 2017
Al Wasat Online, February 13, 2017
Turkiya Manset, February 14, 2017