During a joint press conference with Prime Minister Erdoğan in Ankara, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said, "Assad definitely needs to resign. The Syrian public needs to hold their own election and a just compromise needs to be established."
Responding to questions on aHaber, Jebali says that it is both unavoidable and natural that Turkey, which shares a 950 kilometer border with Syria, would want to support its public.
"Turkey cannot be expected to remain impartial. All channels need to be mobilized on this issue. A number of large nations have interests in the region. Russia and Iran need to cut their support of the Assad administration and grant the Syrian public the right to determine their own future. With both Turkey's history and for its future, Turkey's contribution to developments in the region is necessary."
The following are a series of questions and responses, posed to and answered by Jebali:
THE TUNISIAN REVOLUTION
What has changed since the Tunisian revolution?
"A lot has changed. The dictators in Egypt and Libya have fallen…These are developments that transpired in a very short period of time. We are now rewriting history in the region. France stayed for many years; we are just now in a transitional period. Our objective is to establish a democratic system and for an order to be established where people have equal shares, because, these sorts of projects will always come up against dictators. It is also of extreme significance that these sorts of developments have transpired over the past two years."
There was no bloodshed in Tunisia, whereas in both Syria and Libya there has been violence. Why do you think this is?
"This is due to the nature of the Tunisian public. What was succeeded without bloodshed and violence is an indicator of just how civilized the Tunisian public is."
Tension continues in Egypt…
"The situation in Egypt is a little different. The public has a different ethnic structure. The fact that they are neighbors to Israel and Gaza and the Suez Canal has resulted in a variation of developments. We need to act with reason. Egypt should definitely not become divided. From both an ideological as well as societal standpoint a divided Egypt would drag regional nations into serious difficulties."
What should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad do?
"Assad, the dictator, definitely needs to resign. The Syrian public needs to hold their own election and a just compromise needs to be established. It is not possible for dictators such as these to remain in power in an environment of an upright election."
How would you assess Turkey's role in the developments in Syria?
"It is both unavoidable and natural that Turkey, which shares a 950 kilometer border with Syria, would want to support its public. Syria's position is one that is of close interest for Turkey. Turkey cannot be expected to remain impartial. As a democratic nation Turkey naturally needs to do all that it can in order to ensure democracy is established in Syria. All channels need to be mobilized on this issue. A number of large nations have interests in the region. Russia and Iran need to cut their support of the Assad administration and grant the Syrian public the right to determine their own future. With both Turkey's history and for its future, Turkey's contribution to developments in the region is necessary."
TWO AGREEMENTS SIGNED WITH TUNISIA
During Jebali's stay, Erdoğan and his counterpart signed on to two agreements on establishing a Strategic Council and cultural center with Tunisia. During the joint press conference, Erdoğan called on businessmen to invest while also expressing that Tunisia's offering of Turkish language as an elective course is proof of Tunisia's strong sentiments for Turkey.
A THANK YOU FOR "JASMINE"
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali also met with President Abdullah Gül while in Turkey. During the meeting, Gül expressed that for Turkey, Tunisia is one of the nation's Turkey shares the most solidarity with, while Jebali thanked President Gül for Turkey's support during the Jasmine Revolution. The two recalled how President Gül visited Tunisia on March 7th to the 9th, becoming the first state leader to visit the nation following the revolution as well as the first foreign leader to address the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia. Gül also emphasized that Tunisia, which was the nation to ignite the fire for democratization in the Arab world, was admired by the entire world for successfully holding parliamentary and presidential elections.