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Economic interdependence 'key to lasting peace in the region'.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was welcomed by QU president Dr Hassan Rashid al-Derham. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

The best way to achieve lasting peace in the region is economic interdependence, according to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

"Instead of accumulating more and more weapons, it is better to have economic interdependence so that everybody will win," he said. "If there is economic interdependency, both sides will avoid any conflict."

Davutoglu was speaking at Qatar University (QU) on Thursday on the topic, "Turkey-Qatar Co-operation: Regional Challenges, Broader Horizons," as part of his itinerary during his state visit to the country.

He stressed that one good example of economic interdependence is the Turkey-Qatar relations, which developed in a very fast phase.

The prime minister noted that the two countries' trade volume ($1.3bn) has tripled in the last five years, with an aim to increase it to $5bn by enhancing economic relations and co-operation in various fields.

Turkey and Qatar now have a common sectoral co-operation strategy in agriculture, defence industry, health tourism and energy, which compliments each other, according to Davutoglu. "Turkey is one the biggest consumers in this region so we need energy," he said.

Since Qatar needs food for its food security, he noted that they are providing the country with alternative agricultural projects through Hassad Food.

Qataris are also welcome to invest in Turkey, produce agricultural products, and bring back home, he explained.

"Our land is open for our brothers and sisters," he added. "Turkey and Qatar today are hand in hand for a bright future."

Having the right approach and method, he said there is also a huge potential to work together in the defence industry as the two countries signed a defence pact on Thursday.

Davutoglu also noted that the region has witnessed the emergence of many civilisations. It is also a region having very rich natural resources.

However, he lamented that today, these resources are not being used to prosper countries but instead became sources of conflicts either by foreign powers or internal, like in the case of Iraq.

He also cited the case of "six failing states" in the region which suffer from various conflicts with no central authority to impose public order. These are Yemen, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In fact, the potential of these economic assets is great, enough for all of us," he stressed, as he urged countries in the region to have a rational economic co-operation similar to what Turkey and Qatar are doing.

"This is how we see a comprehensive approach, not only me as a prime minister of Turkey but as an academician, I always believe in one principle: 'the best way to achieve peace is economic interdependence,'" he said.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Apr 30, 2016
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