ANKARA: Turkey Should Be Grouped w/Countries in Greater ME Project

Anadolu Agency
April 6 2004

Turkey Should Be Grouped With European Countries In Greater Middle
East Project

WASHINGTON – Gen. Ergin Saygun, the representative of the Turkish
Armed Forces to NATO, said on Monday that Turkey should be grouped
with European countries, not with the target countries within Greater
Middle East initiative of the United States.

Speaking at a panel discussion in the 23rd conference of
American-Turkish Council (ATC), Saygun said, ”we are willing to
support a reasonable initiative in the Middle East. Turkey wants to
see peace and stability in its region. We appreciate Greater Middle
East Initiative of the United States. However, there are still
uncertainties in this project. The uncertainties should be

Saygun said peace could only be provided in the Middle East through
peaceful methods.

Saygun said this would be important in determining future of Iraq. He
said Iran was in closer cooperation with Turkey in the recent period,
stressing that better relations were accepted with ”cautious

Saygun said recent clashes between Arabs and Kurds in Syria caused

Saygun said Israeli-Palestinian problem was of key importance in
solution of problems in the region, and stressed that Turkish-Israeli
relations were strong.

Mentioning relations with Armenia, Saygun said Turkey did not oppose
establishment of better relations with Armenia, yet noted that an
appropriate atmosphere should be found.