QA:26, 3 August 2010, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question

The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, President Dr. Bashar al-Assad, President of Syrian Arab Republic and the President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel Sleiman held a tripartite summit meeting in Beirut on July 30. In the joint declaration released after the meeting, it was stated that the three leaders exchanged views on addressing means to strengthen national harmony and internal stability in Lebanon, pointed out that Lebanon should pursue its own national interests, and called for deference to the Lebanese government and other constitutional institutions in order to not go back to previous times of conflict.

Turkey welcomes the tripartite summit in Beirut and supports the joint declaration concerning the preservation of stability and peace in Lebanon. In fact, Turkey has always maintained that peace and stability in Lebanon has critical importance for the entire region and continues to undertake its initiatives from this perspective.

As is known, Turkey has been supporting the development of a sense of regional ownership of problems for a long time. We believe that the tripartite summit meeting constitutes a solid example of such an understanding.

We further believe the fact that Saudi Arabia and Syria’s, two leading countries in the Arab World that Turkey maintains excellent relations, getting together in friendly Lebanon constitutes an important development not only from the perspective of bilateral relations among these countries but from the vantage point of cooperation on regional issues.

Lebanon’s stability and everyone’s contribution to this is critically important. Just at a time when we are going through critical and fragile period in our region, any instability at the borders of Lebanon may have negative repercussions in the wider region. Among other things, the armed clashes on August 3 along the Lebanon-Israel border have been cause for serious concern and sadness. We call upon all sides to contribute to the efforts aimed at peace and stability by exercising self restraint.

In this context, Turkey has given its support to the National Unity Government in Lebanon under the leadership of Prime Minister Hariri since its inception. With a view to Lebanon reaching at an environment of lasting peace and stability in Lebanon, our contributions to the UNIFIL and our assistance for reconstruction and economic development process in this country are also going on.