K Party Vice Chairman Egemen Bagis gave a speech in a panel organized in the Faculty of Public Politics The Harris School of Chicago University, which is a distinguished educational institution in the US.
In the panel Mr. Bagis talked about the initiatives that Turkey has undertaken in the Middle East and said "Turkey has become a peace and negotiation factor in the Middle East. As a country that is credited and respected by other countries in the Middle East we approach all relevant parties with patience and understanding."
One of the panels that were organized in The Harris School in an annual conference on the global problems was titled "Perspectives in Politics: How the World Observes the US?"' In the panel, which was headed by Peter Slevin, Washington Post Chicago Office Editor, the topic of discussion was the Iraq and Middle East politics of the US.
Mr. Bagis who attended the meeting as a guest participant, asked to speak when the discussion was about Turkey and talked about Turkey's Middle East politics.
Egemen Bagis said:"The Middle East has been through all kinds of armed disputes and the heaviest cold war and probably it is understood that such conflicts do not bring solution. Alternatives for peace and negotiation have not been tried adequately yet. Turkey offers the region alternatives and solutions for peace and negotiation."
Mr. Bagis added:
"AK Party government has brought Turkey a new prestige and credibility in the region. By means of this new and strong profile of Turkey, the Foreign Ministers of the EU and OIC held a meeting in Turkey. The Foreign Ministers of Israel and Pakistan commenced diplomatic relations in Istanbul. The US Embassy in Iraq met the Sunnite leaders of Iraq not in Baghdad but in Istanbul. The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan shook hands in Turkey. The Presidents of Israel and Palestine sent peace messages to the world from the Turkish Parliament before Annapolis Conference. Turkey is the co-chairman of the Alliance of Civilizations project. This is not just an assumed leadership; we create solutions within the framework of our historical and regional responsibilities and the democratic power that our people have granted us."
Mr. Bagis finally reminded that Syria and Israel have asked Prime Minister Erdogan to act as the peacemaker for the resolution of the Golan Heights issue.
Bagis said "AK Party has added new dimensions and functions to the knowledge and experience of Turkey, which has acted a bridge among the continents and civilizations for centuries. AK Party is the party of peace and negotiation both in Turkey and in the Middle East."
Upon a question Egemen Bagis stated that the only realistic solution in Iraq can be achieved by maintaining the territorial integrity and assuring that the natural sources of the country belong to the whole nation without any discrimination. He said "None of the ethnical and religious factors in Iraq should be allowed to establish superiority over the other, the whole Iraq process should be bind to a calendar and this calendar should be followed with sincerity."
Kenan Ipek, Turkey's Chicago Consulate General and academicians were also among the participants of the panel in Chicago University.