Turkey expects CICA summit to condemn Israeli aid attack

Turkey wants the final declaration of an Asian interaction and confidence-building conference to refer to the Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Turkey expects CICA summit to condemn Israeli aid attack

Turkey wants the final declaration of an Asian interaction and confidence-building conference to refer to the Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Turkey expects the final declaration of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) to stress the recent aggression of Israel.

Israeli soldiers attacked a fleet of boats carrying 700 international activist and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid heading to Gaza, killing 9 Turkish activists. The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the meeting on economic and security cooperation in Eurasia began in Istanbul on Monday.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Kazakh counterpart Kanat Saudabayev chaired the meeting, taking place on the sidelines of CICA.

Leaders from Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are to attend the Eurasian and Middle East talks.

Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member and a candidate to join the European Union, has sought to raise its international profile in recent years, mediating in issues ranging from Afghanistan/Pakistan ties to Iran's nuclear programme.

CICA condemnation?

The conference will begin on Tuesday, and Turkey will take over the rotating chairmanship of the conference.

In case participants do not unanimously reach an agreement on a declaration condemning the attack, a presidential statement is expected to be released, Anadolu news agency reported.

Israel is expected to participate in Monday's meetings in the level of consulate, and Tuesday's summit in the level of ambassador.

"If CICA is the OECD of Asia then the final declaration of the summit should have a statement about Israel's attack," a Turkish official also told Reuters news agency.

"If there was such an attack in Hungary, for example, then all OECD countries would have a say."

Referring to Israeli attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Davutoglu said one of the CICA members of the conference staged a "barbarous attack" against civilians of another member.

Davutoglu also talked about Iran's nuclear program, and said the uranium swap agreement, signed with initiatives of Turkey and Brazil, was an opportunity for a diplomatic solution.

The Turkish minister also said countries that would contribute to peace and stability should refrain from intercultural conflicts.

"Israel committed a crime against all international laws and regulations," Davutoglu told a news conference with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts ahead of the summit.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who held talks on the sidelines with his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rasul and Davutoglu to foster relations between Kabul and Islamabad, condemned the deadly Israeli attack which drew global censure.

"Pakistan condemned in the strongest possible terms the unjustified aggression shown towards the freedom flotilla," Qureshi said, and told Davutoglu: "We stand by you".

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said Israel must be punished and that "nothing would ever be the same" between the two nations, accusing Israel of breaking the biblical commandment "thou shalt not kill".

The diplomatic momentum will continue on Wednesday, as Arab League foreign ministers gather for a Turkish-Arab Forum.

Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is an inter-governmental security forum in Asia which was initiated by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992.

The first CICA summit was held in 2002.

CICA Member States include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Vietnam, Ukraine and USA and the United Nations, OSCE and League of Arab States are observers.


Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Haziran 2010, 17:46
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