25 Kasım 2011 Cuma

EU says looks to Turkey to help stabilize Mideast

Today's Zaman

President of the European Parliament has said the European Union is looking to Turkey to help stabilize the region shaken by instability and uprising since the start of this year.
Jerzy Buzek, who is visiting Turkey this week, told Turkish deputies in Parliament on Thursday that he knows from his own experiences that a falling dictatorship is both dangerous and unpredictable, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is threatened by eight-month uprising that claimed nearly 4,000 lives. He said across the Eastern Mediterranean, not just in Syria, there are multiple flashpoints and that the 27-nation bloc is looking to Turkey to help stabilize the region.

He said in recent months, Turkey’s leadership has stressed Turkey's support for the struggle for freedom across the North Africa and the Middle East and many in the Middle East regard Turkey as a source of inspiration of a successfully modernising society. He said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the first Muslim leader to tell Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to step down.

"Your leaders have travelled to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia to promote the adoption of a constitution that secures secularism. And, more recently, you opened your doors, and hearts, to the Syrian opposition," he said.

Buzek said Turkey has a lot to offer the international community, stating that yet it is essential that Turkey and the EU work together to better co-ordinate foreign policies of  Turkey and the EU.

He added that Turkey’s economy has tripled in size over the past decade and that it has introduced important social reforms, such as the expansion of healthcare to cover the whole population. “Your secular democracy has become an inspiration for millions across Northern Africa and the Middle East seeking freedom from the authoritarian rule," he stressed.

Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=263861

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