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First Ministerial Meeting of the Syrian-Turkish Strategic Cooperation Council Concluded, Long-Term Strategic Partnership between the Two Countries Established.

Gaziantep, Turkey (SANA) -- The 1st ministerial meeting of the Syrian-Turkish High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council was concluded on Tuesday evening with a closing session at the Turkish city of Gaziantep.During the closing the session, the results of the bilateral meetings between ministers were reviewed in order to establish basis for projects, agreements and cooperation mechanisms between the two countries, which will lead to strategic partnership between the two countries in various fields.At the beginning of the meeting, Assistant Vice President Lieutenant General Hassan Tourkmani said "We can now look with confidence to the future which will show the results of our work for developing this partnership, which will serve the interests of the two brotherly peoples."For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu affirmed that the peoples of the two countries and their cities are embracing in a new beginning that will create a better future for our grandchildren.A joint statement was issued at the end of the meeting, stating the following:The government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the government of the Turkish Republic agreed to form a long-term strategic partnership to bolster and expand their cooperation in a wide spectrum of issues of mutual benefit and interest and strengthen the cultural bongs and solidarity among their peoples, which aims to build upon their strong bonds due to their mutual historical, cultural, fraternal and good-neighborly relation.During the visit of President Bashar al-Assad to Turkey on September 16 2009, the two sides affirmed their agreement to establish of the Syrian-Turkish High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council to serve as a systematic dialogue mechanism for expanding and institutionalizing the satisfactory standing cooperation between the two countries.On that ground, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu signed the joint political declaration of establishing the Syrian-Turkish High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council on September 16 2009.By establishing the Council, Syria and Turkey aim to reestablish the framework of their relations according to a strategic perspective, in addition to forming a joint vision on issues relating to bilateral and regional relations.In this regard, the first ministerial meeting of the Council was held in Aleppo and Gaziantep on October 13 2009, with the participation of Syrian and Turkish ministers of foreign affairs, defense, internal affairs, education, trade, investment, health, transport, agriculture, energy, culture, tourism and environment.The general session of the Council was held in Aleppo, co-chaired by Syria and Turkey. Later, the two delegations headed to al-Salam/Oncupinar border checkpoint, where they attended the ceremony of signing the agreement of mutual entry visa exemption between Syria and Turkey. The exemption was practically put into effect since September 18 2009.The second session of the Council was held in Gaziantep, where ministers met with their counterparts bilaterally in order to lay the groundwork for cooperation projects, agreements and mechanisms.Later, the ministers presented the results of their meetings in a general session co-chaired by Syria and Turkey, with the ministers due to present their reports on the results of the meeting during the Council's next meeting, which will be co-chaired by the Syrian and Turkish Prime Ministers in December 2009.After the talks, a press conference was held with the participation of the delegation members, during which the two sides reviewed the results of the meetings and talks, affirming that 30 cooperation agreements, memos of understanding and protocols are due to be signed during the upcoming Council session, which will take place in Damascus in December 2009.Participating ministers and their Turkish counterparts arrived at the Syrian border checkpoint of al-Salam, heading to the checkpoint on foot where ministers from both sides raised the checkpoint barrier in a symbolic move denoting the mutual entry visa exemption. The two delegations then headed to the Turkish crossing point of Oncupinar.The ceremony was accompanied by folkloric artistic performances, followed by a screening of documentary on the historic relations between the two countries and the rapid development in cooperation, partnership and integration in all fields.H. Sabbagh

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Publication:Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
Date:Oct 14, 2009
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