Aug 21st Press Review

GUL RECEIVES JORDAN'S FM JUDEH

President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Wednesday at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Judeh said that Jordan placed great importance to Turkey's role in the Middle East peace process and Turkey should keep playing its role. /Hurriyet Daily News/

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS CONTINUATION OF EFFORTS UNDER DEMOCRATIC EXPANSION INITIATIVE

Chaired by President Abdullah Gul, the National Security Council (MGK) convened at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara yesterday with high-level government and military officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Ilker Basbug, in attendance, focusing on latest regional and international developments that concern Turkey's national interests. The government's recent democratic expansion initiative, which aims to solve the long-standing southeastern Anatolia issue by expanding democratic and cultural rights of citizens with Kurdish origin, was also on the agenda, and Interior Minister Besir Atalay, who is also government coordinator for the initiative in question, briefed the MGK members on his ongoing talks with political parties, non-governmental organizations and different segments of the society to reach a comprehensive consensus on the initiative before its details are announced by Premier Erdogan by the end of this year. A written statement which was released after yesterday's MGK meeting said, "The council members were briefed on the ongoing efforts carried out under the coordination of the Interior Ministry in order to consolidate Turkey's territorial integrity with its land and nation, and ensure the well-being, peace and happiness of individuals and the people," adding that the council had recommended the continuation of those efforts. The statement also said the situation in Iraq was discussed in the light of recent developments and added that developments regarding the trilateral mechanism formed by Turkey, the US and Iraq were reviewed. The statement pointed out the importance of talks with Iraqi groups and said the council was informed on the Turkey-Iraq High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting. The statement also stressed the importance of increasingly maintaining research and development activities that create added value. The council members also thanked Naval Forces Commander Gen. Metin Atac and Air Forces Commander Gen. Aydogan Babaoglu, who attended the MGK gathering for the last time as they would retire as of August 30, the statement added. In related news, President Gul's first iftar (fast-breaking dinner) guests during the holy month of Ramadan this year will be relatives of security forces martyred during the fight against terrorism, who will visit the president at the presidential palace on August 25. /Sabah/

GUL SENDS TALABANI CONDOLENCES OVER DEADLY BLASTS IN BAGHDAD

President Abdullah Gul telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani to offer his condolences over Wednesday's blasts struck near government ministries and other targets in Baghdad, said the president's press office. Gul offered his condolences for victims of the attack. "Turkey is ready to move whenever required and lend its full support," he added. In a separate written statement by the Foreign Ministry, it harshly condemned the terrorist attacks, saying they targeted disrupting peace and stability in neighboring Iraq. /Today's Zaman/

THROUGH TERM PRESIDENCIES OF SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, TURKEY TO ASSUME KEY ROLES ON GLOBAL STAGE NEXT YEAR

Turkey has been reaping the rewards of its more active foreign policy in recent years. Thanks to this policy, Turkey will be holding term presidencies of four international organizations next year, thus taking more active roles on the international stage than ever before. Progressing towards becoming a global actor by winning a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2009-2010 period, Turkey will engage in active diplomacy with strong says both in Europe and Asia. In addition to taking over two important subcommittees, namely Afghanistan and Fight against Terrorism, working under the Security Council from South Korea as of early next year, Turkey will also undertake the term presidencies of the European Council and the Balkan Stability Pact. The latter is of added importance because it coincides with a time when the Balkan region is set to enter a problematic period due to the looming problems of high complexity concerning Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Turkey is also getting ready to preside over another important international organization in another strategic part of the world. Turkey will take over the term presidency of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) from Kazakhstan during a CICA summit meeting to be held in Istanbul next summer. /Turkiye/

ISTANBUL TO HOST UN MEETING IN SUPPORT OF PAKISTAN'S STABILITY

Istanbul is set to host a high-level meeting of members of the Friends of Democratic Pakistanb group (FoDP), which was launched in New York last year on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly session, in early next week. The founding member states of the FoDP include the UK, France, Germany, the US, China, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Australia and Italy plus the UN and the European Union. The Istanbul meeting aims to provide assistance to the Islamabad government in the fields of education, health, energy, economy and local administration while the main focus of assistance will be the fight against terrorism and the eventual maintenance of stability in Pakistan. A total of 20 member states and six international organizations are expected to be represented at the gathering. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi are scheduled to visit the Central Anatolian city of Konya following their participation in the meeting. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) will jointly host a private sector meeting as part of the FoDP summit as well. More than 10 private companies from Pakistan will attend this meeting. Recalling the intense Turkish private sector activity in Pakistan, diplomatic sources highlight that such a private sector gathering will be important for encouraging investments, which will make a contribution to stability in Pakistan. /Today's Zaman/

TURKISH OBSERVERS MONITOR ELECTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN

Turkey sent an 11-member observer delegation to Afghanistan to take part in international efforts to monitor yesterday's election in the country. Speaking to reporters, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Özügergin said that Turkey placed importance to this election, which will determine the next administration for Afghanistan's people in this friendly and brotherly country. "Turkey hopes that yesterday's election constitutes a further step in Afghanistan, which is passing through a difficult period," he added. /Today's Zaman/

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