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President of the Palestinian National Authority Mr. Mahmoud Abbas Visited Ankara
25/04/2006 - Viewed 1920 times

President of the Palestinian National Authority Mr. Mahmoud Abbas who came to Ankara upon an official invitation visited the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and met with its President, Mr. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu as well as other Turkish businessmen. After a bilateral meeting with Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, he attended another event giving information on issues regarding Turkish-Palestinian economic cooperation. During that briefing, the Managing Director of the Economic Policy Research Institute and Coordinator of the Ankara Forum, Guven Sak, made a presentation giving information on TOBB BIS Project to Revitalize the Palestinian Industrial Free Zone in northern Gaza.

Mr. Mahmoud Abbas thanked TOBB for their efforts to revitalize the industrial zone in northern Gaza and reiterated that he would give every support so that the fourth meeting of the Ankara Forum would take place in Tel Aviv as soon as possible. He said that Turkey can play a very active role in the Middle East due to its historical and cultural ties with most of the countries in the region.

Mr. Abbas said that Palestine now faces a government who has its unique views that are not completely compatible with the views of the international community. He mentioned that every effort should be made to adapt these views to those of the international community but in the meantime it is not right to penalize the Palestinian people. He stressed the importance of the flow of aid money from international donors in order to avoid potential threats of famine.

The President said that TOBB's Initiative to Revitalize the PIFZ is a very concrete and up to date one and that they are very serious in cooperating for the success of this initiative. He also said that there is a need to cooperate further with the neighboring countries to Palestine such as Egypt and Jordan in relation to similar initiatives. He explained that the initiative needs to continue despite the change of government in Palestine. He also stressed that the Israeli side is supporting the project with full speed as before and that was evident during his meeting with Shimon Peres of the Qadima Party two weeks ago.

Subsequent to the speeches, the Managing Director of the Economic Policy Research Institute and the Coordinator of the Ankara Forum, Prof. Guven Sak, made a detailed presentation on TOBB-Industry for Peace Initiative. He stressed that the political support for the initiative has already been guaranteed with the signing of joint declarations with both the Palestinians and the Israelis in early January 2006. He explained that the next stage will consist of the construction and then investment promotion stage.

At the very end of the meeting, representatives of the Turkish Constuctor's Association, Yılmazlar Construction Company and the Turkish Employer's Association of Construction Industries took the floor and said that they have lots of experience of doing business in the region. They stressed that they would be very willing to transfer this experience to Palestine and they would like to take a role in the reconstruction of the country either through contributing to the TOBB-BİS Initiative or through other projects aiming cheap housing construction provided that the security issue is tackled first.

Click the links below for Guven Sak's Presentation and speech of Rifat Hisarciklioglu(in Turkish)

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