Turkey is Israel’s Reliable Strategic Partner: President Shimon Peres
Israel, Jerusalem, 30 October / Trend corr. A.Gut/ Turkey has been
Israel's reliable strategic partner in Middle East for decades, Israeli President Shimon Peres said at the
celebration ceremony of the 85th anniversary of the Independence Day
of Turkey in Tel-Aviv. According to Peres, creation of the Turkish Republic by the great Ataturk was a very important event in Middle East.
Speaking on today's Turkey, Peres stressed that the Turkish Republic is a great hope of the Islamic world, the hope of
future Europe. "Turkey is a secular democratic country of the Muslim world. Turkey proved to the world that it is possible to preserve the Islamic traditions and
simultaneously to be a modernized country; it is possible to be an Islamic
country and to strive for stability, peace and economic prosperity; to be an
Islamic country and to develop democratic institutes," said Peres.
As to the current level of the Turkey-Israel relations, Peres called them important and strategic. "We have strong strategic mutual relations with Turkey in the economic and security fields. Turkey takes an active part in construction of the infrastructure in the Palestine Autonomy, in creation of large trade and industrial zones in Jenin region and Tarkumia near Hebron," President said.
The Turkish Ambassador to Israel Namik Tan said there is serious and comprehensive cooperation between Israel and Turkey. "Cultural relations between the two countries are maintained. We establish the Turkish Cultural Centre, the building of which formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire," he said, adding that the Cultural Centre will be opened at the beginning of 2009 with participation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
According to Tan, the economic relations between the two countries are at high level, but the potential of the Turkey-Israel relations has not been used till the end. "Israel is our important strategic partner in the region. Only this year the trade and economic turnover between Israel and Turkey totalled $2.7bln," he said. According to him, Turkey and Israel want Middle East to be stable, prosperous and peaceful. The indirect talks between Syria and Israel were the result of Ankara's diplomatic activity.
"The project of transportation of power resources from Ceyhan through Eilat on the Red Sea to the Far East counties is an important strategic project for our countries," Turkish Ambassador said. In spite of different geopolitical troubles, Turkey has never cut its diplomatic relations with Israel. And that once more time proves the mutual respect and loyalty between the Jewish and Turkish nations," said Tan.
The celebration ceremony of the 85th anniversary of the Independence Day of Turkey in Tel-Aviv involved the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Dalia Itzik, Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, representatives of the political and economic elite of Israel, as well as representatives of the Israeli Congress of Azerbaijanis.