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00:29, 20 February 2017 Monday
Update: 11:18, 28 April 2012 Saturday

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Turkish deputy premier rejects arming opposition in Syria
Turkish deputy premier rejects arming opposition in Syria

Babacan said that none of the countries should aim to arm the opposition in Syria and the real problem in Iraq stemmed from Baghdad, not regional Kurdish administration.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan gave a conference Friday at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.      

Babacan made a speech on Turkey's foreign policy and the situation in the region as well as touching on latest developments economy in Turkey and the world. Babacan said that none of the countries should aim to arm the opposition in Syria.      

Turkey does not have such an aim, added Babacan who spoke at a conference in Boston on Friday.      

Turkey fully supports political efforts and is against an external intervention in Syria, said Babacan.      

An opposition should only be shaped as a political effort in Syria, said Babacan, adding that a legitimate opposition would be important as it would present an alternative to the existing regime.      

Noting that Annan plan opened a a window of opportunity, Babacan said that the plan should immediately be implemented, and international community should support the plan.      

Also, the plan should include a timetable and a deadline, said Babacan, expressing pleasure over the support of Syrian opposition to the plan.      

Babacan also said that Turkey would not attend the meetings which would be chaired by Greek Cypriot administration in the EU.      

As Turkey does not recognize Greek Cypriot administration as a country, it will not attend the political meetings which will be chaired by the administration in the EU, said Babacan who spoke at a conference in Boston on Friday.      

Greek Cypriot administration will undertake the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012.      

However, we will pursue our cooperation with the EU institutions on technical level, Babacan said.      

We will suspend our interaction on political level only for six months, he added.

Problem in Iraq stems from Baghdad

Babacan said that the real problem in Iraq stemmed from Baghdad, not regional Kurdish administration.     

A representative and legitimate parliament appeared in Iraq after the elections, but the representation in the parliament was not reflected on governmental level, said Babacan, adding that Iraqi prime minister appointed Shiites to key ministries and military missions.      

This situation escalated sectarian tension, said Babacan.     

Babacan noted that Turkey supported Iraq's territorial integrity and unity.      

Recently Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said "Turkey was becoming an enemy state in the region in a sign of growing tensions between Turkey and Iraq" and "Turkey had started to intervene in Iraqi internal affairs".      

In return, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned against the latest situation in Iraq and signaled a troubling trend in the war-torn country under the current prime minister. Erdogan blamed al-Maliki for excluding Sunnis from power structures.      

Premier Erdogan said the behaviors of al-Maliki to his coalition partners and his egoist and challenging approaches to the structuring in Iraq were making Shiite groups, Masoud Barzani and Al-Iraqiya group uneasy.      

On April 24, Charge d'affaires with the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry headquarters over the remarks by Iraqi prime minister.      

Iraqi diplomat was summoned to convey Turkey's "strong rejection" of statements made by al-Maliki.  

Prior to the conference, Babacan also met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.      

The Turkish deputy premier is scheduled to meet with US investors on Saturday.      

Babacan will wrap up his visit to the United States and return to Turkey on Sunday.


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Press agenda on February 19
Press agenda on February 19

Here are the main topics World Bulletin’s English Desk plans to cover Sunday Feb. 19, 2017 (coverage may change depending on developing/breaking stories): BAGHDAD Iraqi forces launch an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul's west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. 700 words 0530 GMT by Ammar Karim and Jean-Marc Mojon US-militant-Egypt-prison,2ndlead WASHINGTON The sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian-born cleric linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78 in a US prison facility after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery disease. 650 words moved by Maggy Donaldson. File Picture Ukraine-Russia-conflict,WRAP MOSCOW A truce between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine will come into force Monday, Moscow and Kiev say, though some separatists are already labelling it unfeasible. 500 words moved by Anais Llobet Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,WRAP BERLIN Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a love story set in a slaughterhouse, wins the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. 700 words moved by Deborah Cole. Picture. Video Also moved: Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-prizes,FACTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,POINTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-winners,CHRONO -- ASIA -- NKorea-Malaysia-diplomacy-community,SCENE KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's only North Korean restaurant promises a glimpse into life in the reclusive state but it has been shuttered since news broke of the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un's brother, with security guards turning customers away. 650 words 0600 GMT by Elizabeth Law. Picture. Video -- AMERICAS -- US-politics-Trump-Melania,lead MELBOURNE, Florida First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, breaks with form, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. 600 words moved by Michael Mathes with Stephanie Griffith in Washington. Picture. Video. US-media-politics-technology WASHINGTON As President Donald Trump warns of a crackdown on US government leaks to media, interest is growing in technology tools that allow sources to share information anonymously. 750 words moved by Rob Lever Venezuela-politics-opposition-US CARACAS Venezuela and the United States lock horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including over the detention of a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital to demand his release.