World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey supports improved conditions in Egypt, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.
Cavusoglu made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk at its headquarters in Ankara.
When he was asked about what is needed for Turkey to normalize its relations with Egypt, Cavusoglu said "What problems can we have with Egyptian people and with the state?"
Cavusoglu added: "Our problem is with the government and its actions that oppress the brotherly Egyptian people."
“Egypt has to transform itself into a democracy. Political prisoners should be released, and jailed people should not be tortured,” the minister said.
Cavusoglu also said that stability in Egypt is important for the Islamic world, Middle East, Palestine and Turkey.
“Some Gulf countries lobbied against us”
Cavusoglu criticized certain Gulf countries about the elections for the UN Security Council's non-permanent membership for 2015 and 2016.
“At that time, the humanitarian crisis in Kobani had just broken out. Countries mistakenly thought that Turkey is doing nothing about Kobani,” Cavusoglu said.
“We saw that, because of this, and because of our relations with Egypt, some Gulf States lobbied against us.”
Turkey lost its bid for a seat on the Council in a runoff vote against Spain, after both countries failed to garner the required number of votes in the first two rounds. Spain won on the third ballot, receiving 132 votes to Turkey’s 60 votes.
The foreign minister also stressed that Turkey sought UN Security Council membership for Palestine as well.
Cavusoglu said some Muslim countries in the region, who were trying to punish Turkey with the Security Council vote, actually punished Palestine with their attitude. “If we were a member of the UN Security Council, the efforts on Palestine would have not been wasted.”
The Council rejected last week a draft resolution calling for an end to Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory within three years. The motion, which was submitted by Jordan after having been agreed to by Arab states, failed to win the minimum nine votes required from the 15-member council, with both the U.S. and Australia voting against the proposal.
Political turmoil in Libya
Cavusoglu said Turkey takes no sides in Libya and aims to find a way to establish a dialogue between parties.
“The United Nations’ efforts proved inconclusive, and the future does not look bright ,” he said.
“No foreign interference, especially using the military, is needed right now.”
Libya has recently seen heavy fighting between a loosely organized national army and militia who held onto their weapons following a bloody uprising in 2011 that ended the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Ever since, rival militias have locked horns, bringing violence to the country's main cities, especially Tripoli and Benghazi.
The central government, meanwhile, has remained largely absent from the scene. There are now two rival seats of government, each of which has its own institutions.
Cavusoglu said that a unified and inclusive government is necessary in Libya. He declared that Turkey had not, and would not interfere in Libya's internal affairs.
“No list given to us about ISIL”
Asked about whether Iraqi officials had made a list of demands in regard to the struggle with ISIL, Cavusoglu said “No.” “No list was given to us about ISIL,” he said.
During the second High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Turkey and Iraq on Dec. 25th in Ankara, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi said he submitted a list that includes Iraq’s demands in its collaboration with Turkey in fighting ISIL.
Cavusoglu also reiterated that Iraq and Turkey have opened a new page, and that Turkey will train and equip Iraqi peshmerga forces, in their struggle with the terrorist group of ISIL.
“No details agreed on training and equipping Syrian opposition”
Cavusoglu said that, during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Ankara on Nov. 22, he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to Turkey's efforts to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces protecting their communities.
“At first, we were talking about 5,000 people to be trained, but the number can change,” Cavusoglu said. “No details have yet been agreed on training and equipping the Syrian opposition.”
The foreign minister said that the U.S. and Turkey will act together on the issue.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ocak 2015, 14:29