Joint Statement of the Second Ministerial Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey, 2-3 October 2010, Lattakia

The Second Ministerial Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey was held in Lattakia on October 2-3, 2010.

The Council meeting, co-chaired by General Hassan Turkmani, Deputy Vice President of the Syrian Arab Republic and H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey met with the participation of Syrian and Turkish Ministers responsible for defense, finance, foreign affairs, economy and trade, planning, justice, interior affairs, health, transport and communications, agriculture, energy, irrigation, environment, and higher education.

Both sides recalled the strong and deep rooted historical, social and cultural ties, as well as the brotherly and neighborly relations.

They expressed their satisfaction with the results of the strategic relations that they have established.

They reiterated their will and determination to further develop, enhance and deepen their cooperation in all fields of their relations. They emphasized that their bilateral relations are developing on the basis of mutual respect and benefit between the two countries and their peoples.

They also stressed the importance of continued coordination and cooperation between Turkey and Syria regarding regional issues, with the aim of establishing lasting peace, stability and security in the region.

Recalling that 50 agreements were signed during the 1st meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, the Ministers from both sides held bilateral meetings and reviewed the implementation of the documents signed in their own fields, ways and means of further developing various areas of cooperation, as well as exploring new and additional fields of interest for further enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. They later reported to the Plenary on their meetings.

The Plenary noted with satisfaction the progress that have been achieved in terms of implementing the signed agreements, which include; developments and concrete achievements in numerous areas including bilateral trade, investment, tourism, health, higher education, environment, planning, financial and technical cooperation, and joint use of border gates.

Aware of the importance of their economic relations, the Council welcomed and encouraged further exchanges and cooperation between Turkish and Syrian businessmen. In this context, the Council welcomed the meeting of the Syrian-Turkish Economic Forum which was held at the margin of the 2nd Ministerial meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, in Tartous on October 2, 2010, with the participation of the Ministers of Trade and Transport from both sides, in addition to a large number of Syrian and Turkish businessmen and company directors, as well as the heads of the Chambers of Economy, Industry, Agriculture and Tourism in Syria. The participants discussed during the Forum investments opportunities in the Syrian coastal region in tourism, transportation and agricultural sectors.

They welcomed the signing of the following documents:

- The Protocol Regarding the Alignment of the Procedures for the Movement of Passengers, Vehicles and Goods and Working Hours at the Qamishly and Nusaybin Border Gates and Regarding Cooperation.

- The Memorandum of Understanding for Technical Assistance and Cooperation between the State Planning Commission in Syria and the Turkish Development Bank.

- The Executive Program for Technical, Scientific and Economic Cooperation.

- The Executive Program on Cooperation in Animal Health.

- The Executive Program in the Field of Plants Protection and Quarantine.

Members of the Council also welcomed the agreement reached between the Syrian side and Turkish Eximbank to provide a credit line to Syria worth /180/ million Euros (equivalent to US 250 million) to finance the specified projects in Syria which will be undertaken by Turkish companies.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction that the Strategic Cooperation Council first initiated by Turkey and Syria, has set a good example for other countries in the region.

In this context, they recalled, among others, the announcement of the establishment of the Quadripartite High Level Strategic Council between Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon that will lead to the establishment of an area of free trade and movement between these countries and welcomed developments in this field.

Ministers decided to report the results of their meetings to the next meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council under the co-chairmanship of H.E. Engineer Mohammad Naji Otri, Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, and H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, to be held in December 2010.

The Turkish side expressed its gratitude for the warm and generous hospitality extended by the Syrian side during the works of the Council.