No reason for Turkey to fight with neighboring countries: PM Yıldırım

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 11.07.2016 20:01
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that there is no reason for Turkey to have disagreement with its neighbors, expressing that the country's intentions are to improve its ties with countries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Speaking at the AK Party's Politics Academy event in Ankara, Yıldırım said that Turkey intends to mend ties with all the countries in the region including Iraq, Syria and Egypt to spread peace across the world.

"We had strained relations with Israel, which could return to normal after receiving an apology and compensation. However, the essential condition for us has been improving the condition of Palestinians so, we refused to settle for a deal without a step on this matter"

Yıldırım said the current agreement providing tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza City is a result of Turkey's determined stance on the Palestinian cause.

Commenting on relations with Russia, Yıldırım said that Turkish and Russian people have been discontent with the crisis between the two countries and the Turkish administration has taken steps to normalize ties after seeing the public's reaction.

"We will continue to improve ties with our neighbors. There is no reason for us to fight with Iraq, Syria or Egypt but we need to take our cooperation with them further, the prime minister said.

Relations between the two countries hit a low in November 2015 after Turkish jets downed a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian border for violating Turkish airspace. Turkey provided radar data that the Russian planes breached the border, but Moscow has insisted that the war plane had not crossed the border.

In the beginning, Erdoğan and Putin exchanged harsh criticism and ultimatums in the wake of the jet crisis. The Kremlin directed accusations at Ankara and imposed sanctions that continue to deal a heavy blow to Turkey's tourism sector.

Later on Erdoğan expressed regret for Turkey's downing of a Russian military jet to Putin in late June, paving the way for bettering the soured relations.

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