Turkish, Middle Eastern parliament speakers to meet

January 07, 2010, Thursday/ 15:49:00
Parliament speakers of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey are to meet soon to discuss main regional issues and ways to boost cooperation among the four countries, a Syrian news report has said.

The decision to hold the joint meeting came on Tuesday during talks between Syrian Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Larijani, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported. Al-Abrash is on a visit to Iran.

Turkey’s relations with its southern neighbors improved drastically since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002. Last year, Turkey signed agreements with Syria and Iraq to create a high-level strategic council and the Turkish government had separate joint cabinet meetings with Iraqi and Syrian ministers.

Al-Abrash and Larijani also agreed to further expand cooperation between Syria and Iran and called for cooperation to help resolve regional issues, particularly the Palestinian issue. They noted the need to work together to help end an Israeli blockade of Gaza.

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