Syria\'s Ruling Party Daily Satisfied with Ankara Policy Towards Damascus
The daily of the ruling Baath part in Damascus Sunday praised the "positive policy" towards Syria from Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
The editor in chief of the al-Baath party, Turki Sakr, who is on a visit to Turkey, in an editorial datelined from Istanbul noted "the positive policy towards neighborliness of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer."
"For quite some time Turkey did not have good relations with all its neighbors. The change (towards good relations) in foreign policy is a feature which must be attributed to President Sezer and to the Turkish government," he added.
"Turkey opinion is satisfied by the overtures made towards its neighbors, Syria in particular," Sakr continued, referring to his meetings with journalists and Turkish businessmen.
"The Turkish man in the street .. awaits impatiently the forthcoming visit by (Syrian) President Bashar al-Assad, which would mark a historic watershed in relations between the two countries," he added.
No date has yet been set for the Assad visit to Turkey, which follows an invitation made by Sezer at the beginning of November during talks in Ankara involving Syrian vice-president Abdel Halim Khaddam.
During Khaddam's visit, the two countries agreed to formulate a series of "bilateral principles" towards sorting out their differences, particularly sharing the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Khaddam was the highest level Syrian official to visit Turkey since Damascus and Ankara signed the Adana accord in October 1998 in order to ease tensions after Turkey had threatened Syria with military action if it did not expel the Turkish-Kurdish rebel leader Abdallah Ocalan from its soil.
Shortly after the signing of the accord, Ocalan left Syria and traveled the world seeking asylum before his capture by Turkey in Kenya in February 1999.
In June Sezer attended the funeral of the late President Hafez al-Assad, which was seen as a move towards rapprochement with its southern neighbor -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
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