NATO Parliamentary Assembly Transatlantic Affairs Committee with a delegation consisting of parliamentarians from over 20 countries made some visits in Rome on April 3rd and 4th. Greeted first at the Quirinale Palace by the Italian President HE. Giorgio Napolitano, the delegation determined some important facts on NATO's mission and future.
Speaking for the delegation the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Transatlantic Affairs Committee Chairman Egemen Bagis expressed that the need for NATO has increased in the new world order following 9/11, therefore to overcome some dangers that are rapidly showing their effects in the world like terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist gangs, human, drugs and gun smuggling, Bagis pointed out to the importance of cooperation and ally-ship among the NATO members.
Further thanking Italy for the assistance it has given to NATO especially in Afghanistan and Kosovo, Bagis commented that it is crucial to inform the public with regards to the dealings of NATO in the struggles to prevent any probable disturbances in especially the Middle East and the Caucuses. Noting that policies outside of the knowledge of the public or unsupported policies could never be successful, Egemen Bagis said: "People need to be a part of the efforts to solve the problems."
Meanwhile Bagis said that the invitation extended to Iran and Pakistan to the international conference led by Italy in Rome to discuss the future of Afghanistan is an appropriate decision. Bagis further noted that this conference would be a platform for the international community and neighbor countries to show necessary support for the establishment of peace in Afhanistan.
Also sharing remarks on the helicopter tender done in Turkey, Bagis said: "Following the debates that lasted 12 years, our governments Defense Industry Executive Committee decided to go with an Italian company Agusta on attack helicopters. Soon, with Augusta, we will manufacture our own helicopters and contribute to world security."
Thanks from the British Parliamentarians
NATO Parliamentary Assembly Transatlantic Committees' contacts in Italy created interesting developments for Turkey.
Within the framework of the contacts, during the meeting at the Defense Commission of the Italian Senate, three Italian Parliamentarians in their speeches separately thanked Turkey for the positive assistance of Turkey in resolving the British captive situation in Iran. The British representatives also asked for support from the Russian delegation in support of resolving the matter. When the Russian colleagues responded positively in line with Iran's attitude, the meeting room turned cold. The first response came from Egemen Bagis and other parliamentarians who asked for permission to speak, stressing that Iran should release the captives immediately.
Bagis Exchanged Views With Russian Parliamentarians
NATO Parliamentarian Assembly was staged to many heated debates in Italy. The tensions especially rose during discussions on Iraq were taking place. The strong dialogue between Egemen Bagis and his Russian colleagues was also noted. The Russian delegation stated that Iraq was bound to split in the future, therefore any dialogue there discussing the future of Iraq was meaningless. Responding to this statement, Bagis reminded his colleagues that NATO member countries have unanimously agreed upon the integrity of Iraq. Furthermore, a divided Iraq would never serve the Turkish interests; therefore Turkey could never be a stand-by viewer to such an event and that everyone should accept a Turkey that lays the rules in the region. Bagis and his Russian colleagues agreed to increase dialogue between the two parliaments.