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Joint Statement Of The First Meeting Of The High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Between The Syrian Arab Republic And The Republic Of Turkey, Damascus , 22.12.2009

Joint Statement of the First Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey, Damascus, December 22-23, 2009

Based on the agreement between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Government of the Republic of Turkey to establish a long term strategic partnership to expand and solidify their cooperation on a wide range of areas of mutual concern and interest,

Aiming at enhancing their cultural and social ties, as well as the solidarity between their peoples by building on the strong basis emanating from their common history, culture and good neighborliness,

With a view to putting into practice the understanding reached during the visit of H.E Bashar Al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, to the Republic of Turkey on September 16, 2009,

In accordance with the joint political declaration to establish the “High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey,” signed on September 16, 2009 , by H.E Walid Al Moallem, Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Based on the recommendations of the First Ministerial Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council held in Aleppo and Gaziantep on October 12-13, 2009,

Determined to continue to develop and improve their cooperation in all fields,

Aiming at strengthening bilateral relations on a strategic basis and realizing their common vision regarding a number of bilateral and regional issues,

The First Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey was held in Damascus on December 22-23, 2009, under the Co-Chairmanship of H.E Mohamad Naji Otri, Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, and H.E Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey.

H.E President Bashar Al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, received H.E Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, and the accompanying delegation. During the meeting, they reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries. They also exchanged views on regional and international developments, and emphasized the importance of continuing cooperation and coordination between the two countries in order to contribute to regional and international peace, security and stability, and development.

The First Meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Syria and Turkey was held in a high spirit of cooperation and mutual trust, in which the two sides discussed bilateral relations and matters of common interest. The two sides reviewed the efforts conducted by various Ministries and institutions of the two countries through mutual visits, meetings and correspondence that resulted in the conclusion of 50 agreements, memoranda of understanding, and cooperation protocols between the two sides.

During the Council meeting, the participating Ministers also met bilaterally to discuss ways and means of implementing the concluded agreements, MoUs and protocols. In this respect, they agreed on drawing up action plans in their respective fields of responsibility, removing all obstacles that may hamper effective implementation of these cooperation schemes, and exploring opportunities for future cooperation.

The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction with mutual abolishment of visas between the two countries, as well as the inauguration of the Gaziantep-Aleppo Railway prior to the Council Meeting, which pave the way for increased contacts between the Turkish and Syrian peoples and facilitation of trade flows. In this respect, they reiterated their support for the continuation of the “Turkey–Syria Property Commission” meetings, which had been set up to find a solution to the historical property issues.

The two Prime Ministers also addressed the Syrian-Turkish Business Forum, which brought together around 350 businessmen, investors, and company representatives from both countries with a view to enhancing economic and commercial relations, and promoting investments and joint projects in the two countries. The participants were also addressed by Ministers of Trade and Economy of the two countries.

On the margin of the Business Forum, the Heads of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Tourism, and Maritime Shipping met with their Turkish counterparts and discussed ways and means of upgrading their cooperation.

The two Prime Ministers visited Tekeya Sulaymania and examined the ongoing restoration work and viewed the architectural heritage of Sinan the Architect exhibition at the Tekeya, where Prime Minister H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was received festively by the Syrian public.

During the meetings, the two sides also reviewed regional and international developments. They stressed the importance of achieving peace, security, stability and prosperity for the peoples of both countries and the region. The two sides recalled the results of the second meeting of the Arab-Turkish Cooperation Forum which was held in Damascus on December 15, 2009, with the aim of strengthening Arab-Turkish relations through deepening the ties in all fields in a comprehensive institutional framework serving the Arab and Turkish interests.

The two sides stressed that achieving security and stability in the region constitutes an essential dimension of their cooperation, especially when both of them and the region at large face similar threats and challenges. In this respect, they reiterated their commitment to the previous agreements in the field of security cooperation, and they agreed to expand and enhance this cooperation in conformity with the new regional and international developments, and the strategic nature of their bilateral relations.

The two sides expressed the hope that the Syrian-Turkish relations would constitute an example in the region.

Emphasizing the need to find a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on its three tracks, the two sides reiterated their conviction that the just and comprehensive solution to this conflict must be achieved on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Principle of Land for Peace, the Madrid Conference Terms of Reference, the Arab Peace Initiative.

The two sides called upon Israel to put a complete halt on its settlements activities in the occupied Arab territories, including in East Jerusalem in all its forms, putting an end to the illegal Israeli practices in East Jerusalem, and to lift the restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people, including the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

In this connection, the Syrian side reiterated its appreciation for the honest and central role that Turkey plays to achieve the just and comprehensive peace in the region, and welcomed its efforts in the indirect talks between Syria and Israel. The two countries agreed to continue the coordination and cooperation in this area with a view to achieving a solution, which guarantees the full Israeli withdrawal from the Syrian occupied Golan in 1967 to contribute to strengthening the security and stability in the region.

The two sides expressed their support for the unity, territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Iraq, and its Arab and Islamic identity, and renewed their strong condemnation of all terrorist acts and violence in Iraq, and underlined the need for full participation of all segments of the Iraqi society into the political process. In this respect, they emphasized the importance of the timely conduct of the legislative elections, and welcomed the expected withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of the year 2011.

Concurring on the need to make the Middle East an area free of nuclear weapons, the two sides reviewed the latest developments related to the ongoing dialogue regarding Iran's nuclear issue, and stressed the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to this issue, while recognizing the right of all states to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The two sides expressed their full support for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus under the auspices of the good-offices mission of the United Nations Secretary General and on the basis of the well-established UN parameters, with a view to establishing a bi-zonal and bi-communal partnership state on the basis of political equality.

The two sides expressed their common interest and determination to exert all efforts to preserve regional security and stability, and to find peaceful solutions to all questions in the region.

At the conclusion of the Meeting 50 agreements, MoUs and cooperation protocols, a list of which is attached herewith, were signed in various fields. The two sides agreed on the necessity of drawing up implementation programs to realize the cooperation schemes envisaged in these documents. They reiterated their determination to upgrade their cooperation to the desired strategic level, so as to serve the interests of the two countries, and called for swift execution and full implementation of the concluded documents.

The two sides agreed to hold the Second Meeting of the Council in Turkey in 2010.


1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey on Cooperation to Train and Build up Diplomatic Personnel

2. Memorandum Of Understanding between The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Syrian Arab Republic And The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Turkish Republic on Candidacies to Positions in International and Regional Organizations

3. Memorandum of Understanding on Establishment of a Working Group for Extending the Scope of the Association Agreement to Cover the Services Sector

4. Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Contracting and Consulting Engineering Services

5. Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation to Establish and Operate Syrian-Turkish Logistics Center for Transport

6. Security Cooperation Agreement between the Ministries of Interior

7. Cooperation Protocol in the Area of Police Training

8. Cooperation Protocol on Working Project on Betterment of Security Services by Police Units

9. Cooperation Protocol on Census Procedures between the Ministry of Interior of Turkey and the Ministry of Interior of Syria

10. Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Local Administration between the Ministry of Local Administration of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Turkey

11. Working Protocol on Developing Health Strategic Plans and Strengthening Health Systems

12. Working Protocol on Developing Hospital Services

13. Working Protocol on Developing Family Medicine System

14. Working Protocol on Training Health Personnel by Joint Programs

15. Working Protocol on Realization of Medical Experience Exchange and Organization of Joint Medical Weeks

16. Working Protocol on Cooperation in the Fields Of Communicable Diseases And Border Health

17. Working protocol on providing patient treatment in Turkey and Establishment of Sister Hospitals

18. Working Protocol on Promotion of Trade and Production of Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices And Equipment

19. Memorandum of Understanding in the Fields of Meteorology and Meteorological Researches Between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic

20. Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Environment Protection Between the Ministry of State for Environment Affairs in the Syrian Arab Republic and The Ministry of Environment and Forests of the Republic of Turkey

21. Government of Syrian Arab Republic in the Field of Remediation of Water Quality

22. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic in the Field of Efficient Utilization of Water Resources and Combating of Drought

23. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Plant Protection and Quarantine

24. Memorandum of Understanding on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture

25. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Animal Health

26. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for Cooperation in the Field of Tourism

27. Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic

28. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education between the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Turkey and the Ministry of Higher Education of the Syrian Arab Republic

29. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of Syrian Arab Republic on Strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Education

30. Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of Syrian Arab Republic

31. Protocol for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) and the Supreme Council of the Higher Commission for Scientific Research (SCHCSR) in the Syrian Arab Republic

32. Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Youth and Sports between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic

33. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic Concerning the Reciprocal Establishment of Cultural Centers

34. Executive Program for Cultural Agreement between the Government of Syrian Arab Republic and the Government of the Republic of Turkey for the years 2010-2011-2012

35. Memorandum of Understanding of Cooperation in Maritime Affairs

36. Cooperation Protocol between Anadolu Agency (AA) and Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)

37. Cooperation Agreement Between Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT) and Syrian Arab Radio and Television General Directorate

38. Memorandum of Understanding on the Joint Use of Border Gates

39. Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation between the Turkish Standards Institution and the Syrian Arab Organization of Standardization

40. Declaration of intent on expanding Turkey-Syria Interregional Cooperation Program

41. Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Information and Communication Technologies

42. Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Railways between the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Turkey and the Ministry of Transport of the Syrian Arab Republic

43. Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Civil Aviation

44. Joint Declaration by Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, H.E. Taner Yıldız, and Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Syria, H.E. Sufian Al Allao

45. Memorandum of Understanding Between Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of Syria to Link the Gas Networks between the Two Countries

46. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Housing

47. The First Executive Program of the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of Housing and Construction

48. Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Development of Informal Settlement Areas

49. The Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic on Establishment of a Pumping Station in the Territories of Syrian Arab Republic for Water Withdrawal From the Tigris River

50. The Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for the Construction of a Joint Dam on the Orontes River Under the Name “Friendship Dam