KUWAIT: Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan (left) meets former Turkish president Abdullah Gul at the Turkish embassy yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 2) KUWAIT: Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan (left) meets former Turkish president Abdullah Gul at the Turkish embassy yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 2)

KUWAIT: Visiting Former Turkish President Abdullah Gul emphasized that HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has a recognizable place worldwide as a decision-maker because of his outstanding efforts and his “vast and rich” political experience that has enabled him to find solutions to most prominent issues in the region. This remark was made by Gul in an interview with Kuwait TV and Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) yesterday.

“Dialogue” is the Kuwaiti leader’s approach toward solving regional and international issues, especially humanitarian ones, Gul said, who is visiting the country for four days. He expressed his appreciation on visiting Kuwait on the invitation of HH the Amir, who has made several visits to Turkey, adding that Turkey and Kuwait enjoy “strong” ties in all domains. These ongoing visits tackled many regional and international matters on security and safety of the Middle East region, and bilateral issues such as investment. Gul reiterated the importance of promoting bilateral relations, especially on the education front, inviting Kuwait to send its students to pursue their education in Turkish institutes.

Later, at a press conference held at the Turkish Embassy and attended by Kuwait Journalists Association members, Gul highly praised HH the Amir’s wisdom on regional issues. “We have shared regional concerns and are fighting terrorism and developing bilateral relations in all levels that are expected to grow further,” Gul said. On Turkish-Egyptian relations, Gul stressed that Egypt is a major regional country and that both countries shared the Mediterranean shores and waters and were like “two halves of an apple”.

“Disagreements happen even amongst Arab countries themselves, and we hope the clouds will soon disperse and normal relations would be resumed soon,” he said. On the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey, Gul responded, “Are not all Muslims brothers?” noting that Turkey has many other parties with different ideologies and programs.

On situation in Syria and the likelihood of ground troops in the operations there, Gul stressed that, according to US President Barack Obama and European leaders’ recent statements, all parties were keen on reaching a peaceful solution and that there was no such possibility. Gul also strongly denied that Turkey approves the division of Iraq and Syria. “Some leaders act against their own countries,” he remarked, referring to a letter he had sent to Syrian President Bashar Al-Asaad when he was in office urging him to hold immediate reforms and avoid actions that lead to killing the Syrian people.

Commenting on recent statements made by some displaced Syrian refugees to the Arab satellite TV news channel Al-Arabiya, Gul expressed regret for such remarks, noting that Turkey could not receive all displaced refugees and check their IDs.

As far as the Russian intervention in Syria was concerned, Gul stressed that it is not surprising and is clear that both Iran and Russia fully supported Assad since the beginning of the problem.

However, he said that he does not expect reaching a solution to the Syrian problem at the upcoming Vienna conference. He also urged diplomats to come up with a permanent solution. Gul also denied that his country had asked for a buffer zone along the 900-km-long border with Syria. “We only asked for a ‘safe’ zone to protects Syrians from death from they had escaped in their own territories,” he underlined.

On Turkey’s request to join EU, Gul stressed that it he who started those negotiations and stressed that some politicians view the EU as a closed club for a certain religion, while others express fears of Turkey’s growing and developing economy. In the interview with Kuwait TV and KUNA, Gul pointed out that current developments in the region have a ripple effect on Turkey, calling on having a unified front against what he called “turbulence” in the region.

On terrorism, he pointed out that there is an international responsibility and duty to combat terrorist organizations. Armed conflicts in the region created a void where extremism took advantage of to exist, he said, urging to having a global unification to uproot terrorist cells everywhere.

Gul stressed that newer generations in the Arab world should be given attention to be rehabilitated through education in order to create a solid foundation, based on creativity and advancement, for their nations.

Hence, young adults should be “nurtured and protected” so that they can’t be drifted on the dark path of extremism of thought and behavior, Gul stressed. On Turkey’s development, he pointed out that his country has seen political and economic advancement since 2000 because of its ruling party that has made it a priority to achieve prosperity and democracy for Turkey and its people.