Turkey calls for Turkey-Israel-India pipeline

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (UNI) Turkish Ambassador in India, Levent Bilman, today stressed the importance of Turkey-Israel-India pipeline and said it would provide energy security to India while there were still apprehensions on the security of the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline.

Turkey would welcome that pipeline if it was possible, he said at a seminar here on 'India and Turkey: Past and Emerging Relations.' The Ambassador said Turkey and India, both victims of foreign-sponsored terrorism, could cooperate in combating the scourge and improve the situation in Afghanistan.

He also conveyed his country's interest in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India and pointed out that there were lots of restrictions still in India.

On Iraq, he cautioned United States President-elect Barack Obama against hurried withdrawal of the US forces, saying hurried and poorly-thought-out withdrawals would lead to a power vaccum in the region.

Withdrawals would have to be carefully planned and well-scheduled and the Iraqi government needed to be strengthened much before taking any such step, he said and warned that such a power vacuum would lead to a division of Iraq.

''It is not an option. And it should not be,'' he said.

The Turkish Ambassador said his country would become a victim if Iraq was again thrown into chaos because of power vaccum in the region.

He said all the neighbouring countries of Iraq shared this view and the 'Neighbours of Iraq Forum' had been successful in convincing big powers and Permanent Members of the UN Security Council of the need for a cautious approach.

''All the neighbours should act responsibly. They have understood that it is not wise to do it (withdraw from Iraq in a hurried fashion),'' he added.

Observing that India and Turkey had a lot of stake in the stabilisation of Afghan situation, the Ambassador said Turkey did not believe that the problem could be solved only militarily.

He underlined the need to build infrastructure and alternative sources of income to people and said India and Turkey could play a big role in this.

UNI RB KK NS1900

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