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01.01.2010 Middle East

Turkey says ready to mediate Israeli-Syrian talks

By gna
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ANKARA, JAN 1 (Xinhua/GNA) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Thursday said Turkey is ready to mediate talks between Israel and Syria, the semi-official

Anatolia news agency reported.
"If we do see a serious approach, we will do whatever is possible for relations between

Syria and Israel," Davutoglu told a press conference.

The top diplomat said the goal of mediating talks is to facilitate peace, adding that, as

sovereign countries, Syria and Israel could decide their approach on their own.

Turkey last year brokered four rounds of indirect negotiations between the two long-time

foes. Since Israel's large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip last winter, the relations

between the Jewish state and Turkey have soured.
The Turkish government has strongly condemned the offensive, which left more than

1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.
Meanwhile, he rejected the reports that Turkey's axis of foreign policy was drifting away

from the West in recent years, saying such claims were "not well-intentioned," according to

"Our axis is Ankara and our horizon is 360 degrees," he was quoted as saying.


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