Leaders of the region meet at AKP congress
President Mohammed Morsi meets with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül. Turkish Presidency Handout photoProminent political figures from the Middle East, as well as other international figures, were in Ankara yesterday to attend the convention of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The invitees, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, received a warm welcome from the members of the AKP.
In his address to the convention, Morsi said the AKP’s achievements in Turkey “are followed with respect by the entire world.”
“I cannot hide my admiration over these achievements and convey you the admiration of all Egyptian people,” said Morsi. “Egypt wants to live in peace in regards to its foreign policy, primarily with Turkish people and their government. I want to express now that we’ll continue this path of no intervention in anyone’s internal affairs, and by not letting anyone interfere in our internal affairs.”
Mashaal said Turkey had shown the bright face of Islam. “Erdoğan, you are not only a leader in Turkey now, you are a leader in the Muslim world as well,” Mashaal told an excited audience.
“You, Turkish people, thankfully you have experienced your own spring. May it bring good luck. Here the Arab Spring has begun. This Arab Spring entirely belongs to the Arabs. It is not something which is offered to us as benevolence.”
Another attendee was fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was recently sentenced to death in absentia by an Iraqi court.
“The fact that [Turkey] has stood by nations in the world that have been subjected to oppression is enough to be proud of,” said al-Hashemi. “This has for sure not been disadvantageous for its own interests. It is enough for Turkey to be proud as it is able to use initiative, create the agenda and move from one success to another by becoming unified under such a leadership.”
“Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Islamic world will not forget how you stood tall at Davos,” he said in reference to the 2009 Economic Forum when Erdoğan walked out of a session in protest at Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Atambaev, meanwhile, praised Turkey for its economic achievements.
“Turkey, which could not find a loan amounting to $100 million a decade ago, will now loan $5 billion to the IMF [International Monetary Fund],” said Atambaev.
“God save you and Turkey. God open your way. I wish success to all of you in your work for turning Turkey into a great power. Long live Turkey, long live Kyrgyz-Turkish friendship,” he said.