Top Turkish officials have reassured Israel that two comprehensive military accords signed last week between Ankara and Damascus will not affect the strategic ties between Turkey and Israel.
Through a number of contacts, Turkish Foreign Ministry and General Staff members also assured Israeli government and military officials that Turkey is fully determined to maintain its ties with Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
Saying the agreements with Syria are only meant to ease relations with Damascus, which they said has taken considerable steps in recent years to decrease its support of anti-Turkish PKK terrorists, the Turks added that the move is part of their policy of balance, and said Ankara would continue to improve ties with Israel, the report added.
According to the Syrian-Turkish agreements, the Turkish military is to start training Syrian officers, and a group of Turkish military officers will travel to Damascus in the coming months to inspect Syrian military units, The Israeli daily said.
Additionally, Syria intends to upgrade its military representation in Ankara by sending a military attache to Turkey for the first time in several years. Syria had kept the position vacant as a protest of Turkish-Israeli relations.
Under the two deals outlining mutual cooperation in military training and technical and scientific studies, the countries will send officers to each other's military academies during military maneuvers.
"A new era will be opened in the relations between Turkey and Syria with military cooperation," said Turkey's Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, as his Syrian counterpart Hasan Turkmani applauded the landmark deal. (Albawaba.com)
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