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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Blunder in Bahrain Calls Turkey 'Target Country'

Broader Middle East and North Africa Project meeting in Bahrain has started with a historical error Friday. Turkey is given the role to make contributions to the project countries as a "democratic partner"; however, to the foreign ministers meeting in Bahrain, Turkey was invited as a "regional-target country". Germany and Canada were invited as developed countries, Greece as a "democratic partner," but Turkey mistakenly as a "target country" for the 4th panel at the meeting.

US State Department Undersecretary for the Project Broader Middle East J. Scott Carpenter said this is a mistake and the US clearly pointed at Turkey as a "democratic partner" in the last meeting. The preparation committee must have overseen this definition, he added. “The connection of the region with Europe is achieved through Turkey,” the American diplomat reminded, “and the US gives a great deal of importance to Turkey in this process.”

At the end of tremendous efforts, the mistake was corrected in the handbooks prepared and the name of the country was appended in the list of "democratic partners". The second meeting of the project began in capital Manama of Bahrain to overview the activities. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is participating in the meetings and TESEV, an education foundation, is representing non-governmental organizations. On the first day of the meeting, the topic of the agenda was "Inner and Outer Dynamics of Reform Process," "International Affairs and Aids," "Political Development and Political Dialogue," and "Human Rights."

The second meeting was met with great enthusiasm to the contrary of the first. Sudan attended the summit for the first time as Iran did not participate. The developed eight countries, target countries and "democratic partner" countries attended the meeting. Turkey is co-partnering "Democracy Assistance Dialogue" along with Italy and Yemen.

Source: Zaman Daily Newspaper

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