Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that, "Turkey's target is not only economic cooperation but economic integration as well with Arabic countries, mainly Syria".

Speaking at meeting of foreign ministers of the Turkish-Arabic Forum in Damascus, Davutoglu said Turkey had cooperation mechanisms with Arabic countries.

He said, "Turkey is also endeavoring to boost ties with North African sub-Saharan African countries. We have decided to inaugurate 10 new Turkish embassies with the regions in question within 2009. We will improve relations with the countries in the African continent represented in the Arab League."

Referring to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Davutoglu said Turkey supported a solution to Cyprus question within the scope of UN resolutions

Davutoglu also called on Arabic countries to improve cooperation with TRNC.

Foreign Minister Davutoglu said Palestinian problem was also a problem of Turkey and underlined that a compromise should be ensured between the Palestinian groups.

Davutoglu said Turkey's relations with the Arabic countries would continue whatever the consequences would be.

Recalling that Turkey's relations with the EU continued, Davutoglu said EU and Arabic countries were not alternative to each other.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, addressing the opening of the meeting held in Damascus, said they appreciated the role assumed by Turkey for solution of Arab-Israeli problem.

Muallem said Turkey was trying to boost relations with Iraq in every area as well as Syria, noting that Turkey's position towards Israel's attacks to Gaza and its mediating role in Syria-Israel indirect talks were important for the region.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said the meeting was very fruitful, noting that representatives of participating countries Syria, Iraq, Libya, Qatar, Sudan and Somalia were willing to boost relations with Turkey.

Moussa said workshops would be established to focus on various topics, and noted that Turkey would host workshop on culture and science.

Moussa said a meeting would take place in Cairo, Egypt in January and an action plan would be determined there to boost Turkish-Arabic relations. He said Turkish-Arabic Forum would be organized in June 2010.

Davutoglu later departed for Turkey.


Photos: AA