Monday, October 4, 2010

Adana agreement updated in Lazkiye meeting

04 October 2010

Interior minister Atalay continues his meetings on security

Turkish and Syrian ministers held a high-level meeting yesterday on cooperation against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), in Lazkiye, Syria. The two sides agreed that an already existing framework security cooperation arrangement, based on the Adana Protocol, will be expanded

On October 20, 1998, the governments of Turkey and Syria signed the Adana agreement, a remarkable document. In it, Damascus not only agreed to recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization but pledged to cease all aid to the PKK and to deport its leader Abdullah Öcalan from Syria.

After the meeting Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay said Syria and Turkey can conduct joint operations against the PKK.

“Syria has always been cooperative in the fight against terrorism. It is a good neighbor in the strict sense. It is meeting our requests and their sensitivities are very good. This is the best era of our relations,” Atalay said.

For two weeks Atalay's agenda is full. He was in Hewler last week. Then he met with U.S. military officials in Ankara. Then he visited army barracks in Kurdish border cities. Yesterday he was in Syria and he is expected to visit Iran soon.

Atalay's visits concerned PKK, as the organization extended ceasefire against Turkey just days ago.

In Lazkiye, the head of Syrian delegation Hassan Turkmani said that there is a joint will and desire between the two countries as well as ongoing cooperation against "terrorism". "We are working on the diversification of this cooperation” he said.

“In the past period, cooperation that pleased both sides was implemented and this cooperation is improving”