Turkey, Syria Tighten Ties

Turkey and Syria have announced a joint initiative to fight "terrorism," but it is not clear who is targeted, since Syria is a terror state.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 18:54

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Turkey and Syria have announced a joint initiative to fight “terrorism,” but it is not clear which enemies are targeted.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Muhammad Naji Otri told reporters Tuesday after a meeting in Ankara, “terrorism is our common enemy.”

This is an ambiguouse statement, considering that Syria is a state designated by the U.S. and other Western nations as a supporter of terror.

Both countries affirmed their mutual commitment in an Agreement on Joint Cooperation against Terrorism and Terrorist Organizations. The two expressed satisfaction with their bilateral security cooperation, according to a joint statement released to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) by the Syrian-Turkish High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

The joint statement “stressed the importance of continued coordination and cooperation between Turkey and Syria regarding regional issues, with the aim of establishing lasting peace, stability and security in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean.”

The two sides also stressed the importance they attach to “the preservation of calm, stability and political unity in Lebanon,” which they contended was “crucial for the entire region.”

Deepening and Broadening Ties
Earlier in the day the foreign ministers from the two countries had signed an agreement to combat terrorism and terrorist organizations. The pact came at the conclusion of the Council's second meeting in Ankara.

The two nations signed a total of 11 agreements aimed at strengthening ties during the meeting. Participating were ministers from nearly every key government ministry in both countries.

Among the deals were draft agreements to increase the volume of trade, expand economic and investment cooperation, gas linkages and electricity projects, and develop border crossings and transport systems.