Arab Spring was inevitable, says Davutoğlu

Arab Spring was inevitable, says Davutoğlu

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Arab Spring was inevitable, says Davutoğlu

AFP photo

The Arab Spring was inevitable and the only way to keep power in this region from now on would be to share it, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Dec. 16 speaking at the opening ceremony of the Turkey-Africa Partnership Ministerial Review Conference.

Davutoğlu said Turkey will support the people of this region and as a source of inspiration, would do its best to lead stability, peace and tranquility.

Turkey and Africa should develop economic cooperation against the financial difficulties in the world, he said, adding that Turkey’s trade volume with the continent increased 20 percent in 2011. Turkey initiated efforts to raise awareness on the Somali famine the gathering and Davutoğlu held a meeting with countries’ representatives from Djibouti, Uganda, Kenya, and the African Union and the U.N. Eritrea refrained to participate in the meeting due to its bilateral problems with Somalia.

“We urged for social and economic contribution to recover the situation in Somalia,” a diplomatic source told the Daily News. On the sidelines of the Turkey-Africa conference, Turkey and Nigeria planned to sign an agreement on a bilateral visa exemption for citizens of the two countries. But an accord on visa exemption for diplomats was not signed due to disagreement, the Daily News learned.

African countries welcome new Libya

Libya pressed to include a reference appraising its “revolution” and support for the new administration into the African-Turkey partnership declaration, despite criticisms of some African countries arguing it was not an appropriate venue. 

Meanwhile, Libya’s new President Abdurrahim el-Keib will visit Turkey, diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.

African ministers welcomed Libya to reoccupy its seat in the African Union (AU) and they welcomed the formation of the new transitional government in Libya, according to the draft declaration to be adopted after the Daily News went press Dec. 16.

“They expressed their willingness to support this government with all means to pave the way to form a new constitution and to conduct the presidential and general elections that shall lead to a democratic change in the country,” the draft declaration said.

Furthermore, the secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has praised his association’s unflinching support for the new Libya, noting that it backed the country’s uprising from the very beginning. Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu said the OIC had been supporting the Libyan people since Feb. 22 when many countries and international organizations were hesitating on what to do.