Turkey, Arab Nations Eye Free-Trade Zone

ISTANBUL—Turkey and the Arab countries of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon have decided to establish a cooperation council to create “a zone of free movement of goods and persons” among them, Associated Press reported.

They invite all other interested countries to join what Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to the European Union.

Mr. Davutoglu said Turkey is still eager to join the EU but that the bloc “cannot and should not restrict [Turkey’s] relations with its neighbors.”

The deal was signed on June 10 during the Turkish-Arab Economic Forum, where officials from Arab nations burst into applause as Turkey’s prime minister walked to the podium. Turkey’s popularity in the Middle East has risen amid disputes over Israel’s Gaza blockade and United Nations sanctions against Iran.

Armenian Young Professonals conference Canceled

The AGBU’s Middle East Young Professionals Forum was supposed to take place in Amman, Jordan from June 3-6. However, the meeting was quietly canceled by the Jordanian authorities just the night before, reported the Armenian Weekly.

The cancelation seems to be directly connected to the signing of the deal on June 10. For more details, read Talin Suciyan’s piece here.

6 Comments on Turkey, Arab Nations Eye Free-Trade Zone

  1. Sadly, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon all peoples who have been abused over the years by the Turk leaderships now will join Davoutoglu “to establish a cooperating council to create” a zone of free movement of goods amongst them”… Sadly, are
    Syria, Jordan and Lebanon unable to do this without the unreliable Turk?  Amongst themselves?  How many times shall the Turk have ‘alliances’ and then discard and ‘insult’ these same allies… Howsomever, I don’t blame the Turks – it is the rest of the nations who seem to be unable to recognize that amongst the civilized nations of the world the Ottoman Turks, to this day, have not changed one iota – and are able to ‘use’l these ‘alliances’ – momentary as they may be – for all have been lied to – over all these years.  Turkey shall be, as was Nazi Germany, cleared of their psychotic leaders – and this shall take sending them and their followers back to the Asian mountains – from whence  they came –  deserve to be – mentally are still there.  A nation that has committed Genocides in the 19th century, the 20th century, now the 21st century – still – and having ‘gotten away’ with all these slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, totures too vile for normal persons to even devise…  But yet the Turk has gotten away with murders and worse, which in any of our civilized nation would  have been made to face justice for the crimes against humanity.

  2. It is unfortunate that countries that house significant Armenian communities, and a people that proudly refused to follow Ottoman orders when it came to slaughtering the Armenians in 1915, have now become Turkey’s new backyard. The Armenians of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan should teach their neighbours that when it comes to backstabbing friendly nations, Turkey is an undisputed master…

  3. There is nothing called friendship between countries . Countries and their authorities are driven by their national interests irrelative of  what their ethnic minorities think.
    Today, Lebanon , Syria and Jordan have mutual interests with Turkey. They will care less about the Armenian minorities in their countries. Those Armenians cant change the policies of their countries. A videoclip was banned in Beirut and no Armenan leader voiced it even though they are part of the current Government and things will become worse….
    This applies to the rest of the Diaspora…
    Were the French Armenians able to change the French Government’s pro-Azerbaijan stance?  N.O.
    Were the US Armenians able to change Obama’s pro-Turkey and pro-azerbaijan policy – knowing that they voted for him? N.O.
    It is up to us as Diasporan Armenians to decide where to link our fate….our current countries where we live or a Free and Independent Republic called Armenia which was the only dream of our ancestors for centuries….

  4. Hye, when the civilized world allows Genocides to continue, wherever, whenever, does not this mean that since there is not an outcry to end the cycle of Genocides  by their silence and absence of any meaningful opposition to end the cycle of Genocides these civilized nations are in acceptance/approval of all the Genocides, the slaughters, the tortures and worse of innocents violated by Genocides…
    Genocides are easier to accomplish (as opposed to the cost of wars).  So, the cycle of Genocides goes on, today the Kurdish peoples attacked by the fighter planes – against humans.  Bravely, by the Turks… another Genocide perpetrated by the Turks – just another Genocide to be ignored – while innocents opposing the tyranny of  Turks become expendable, as was for all the previous Genocides of the 19th, 20th, and today the 21st centuries – an unrepentent Turk whom none oppose – thus the Turkish Genocide of the Kurdish citizens of a Turkey proceeds.
    But yet, if the Turks faced justice for their crimes of Genocides in the early 20th century ALL the genocides that followed shall never have been.  Despots will have known that the civilized nations would not tolerate Genocides anywhere,
    anyhow by anyone – thus the end of the cycle of Genocides shall have succeeded.
    Woodrow Wilson’s vision for the Armenian nation too, shall have succeeded.

  5. avatar Grish Begian // June 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm // Reply

    League of Arab States should reelect a new leader called “Lawrence Arabia of the 2-nd” …The new ottomans are looking for a another headache for old, first world war allies …the faith of Turkey will end just like the faith of Ottomans, this new Islamist Ottomans, slowly will put themselves in a huge mud..

  6. The cooperatian has both economic and political reasons. Economically, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have comparative advantages in similar goods and services. Hence, a Free Trade Agreement without Turkey (or lets generalize and say without any other more industrialized and capital abundant country) would be meaningless. Politically, religion is a very important factor here. Because of the “muslim brotherhood” concept, neither arabs nor turks do hate each other. On the contrary, since the 1990s, the view of arabs toward turkey has become very amicably. So, I don’t think that history plays the crucial role as you emphasised

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