ANKARA, 10 August 2006 — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah said yesterday that Israeli military aggression in Lebanon posed a big danger to world peace and urged world countries to adopt balanced and prudent policies, free of adventure, to reinforce global peace and stability.

The king made the call during his talks Tuesday night with senior Turkish officials.

“We work as you do for finding a fair solution for the Palestinian problem and to make the Middle East free from atomic weapons,” said King Abdullah, while referring to the need to strengthen the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and delegate this pan-Islamic body more powers.

King Abdullah, who arrived in Istanbul from Ankara yesterday afternoon, called on the international community to “adopt wise and fair policies as the world is facing dangers, in the forms of war and terrorism.”

King Abdullah was speaking during a state banquet hosted in his honor by Turkish President Ahmet Sezer. Several members of the royal family and ministers and top officials of the two countries attended the dinner.

Referring to the role of Turkey in solving regional problems, the king said that, “the Kingdom and Turkey had always been working to find a just solution to all of the problems in the Middle East.”

The political and commercial talks also continued yesterday morning with Saudi and Turkish sides chaired by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Abdullah Gul, Turkish deputy premier and foreign minister, respectively, said Ugur Dogan, Turkish ambassador, here yesterday. Dogan, who also attended the talks, said that the two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues with special reference to Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

Turkey has been Israel’s regional ally since the two signed a military cooperation deal in 1996, Turkish officials have recently strongly spoken out against Tel Aviv. Officials have condemned the Jewish state’s military onslaughts in Lebanon and Gaza, which have claimed hundreds of civilian lives so far.

On the commercial relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, finance minister, while referring to the business meeting to be held here, said that the visit of King Abdullah would enhance the relation further.

In fact, Turkey’s economic relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab world have increased since the Turkish Justice and Development Party came to power in Ankara in 2002.

Turkey expects a lot from this royal visit. “The pledges that King Abdullah will make in Turkey will be very important for the development of economic relations,” said Ali Bayramoglu, co-chairman of Turkish-Saudi Business Group, here yesterday.

He said that the king would attend the business meeting to be organized by the Union of Chambers & Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and Foreign Economic Relations Board in Istanbul today.

He said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Abdullah Gul, as well as Turkish and Saudi delegates would participate in the meeting to be held in Ciragan Palace here.

King Abdullah and Erdogan would also take the floor in this meeting. The king is also expected to visit historical Ottoman palaces during his stay in Istanbul.

While talking at the state dinner on Tuesday night in Ankara, King Abdullah emphasized the need for developing the 57-member OIC. In this respect, he noted the efforts of OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is from Turkey, to strengthen the organization. Abdullah said Saudi Arabia and Turkey could open a new era of cooperation on the basis of the strength of their common stand on major global issues. He invited Sezer to visit the Kingdom.

In his welcome speech, Sezer said the royal visit reflected the desire of the two countries to bolster their ties. “Your majesty’s present visit has historic and political importance as it coincides with a sensitive period that this region passes through.”

The president also spoke about the isolation suffered by Turkish Cypriots for the past 40 years and called for a just solution to the problem.

Speaking at a banquet dinner hosted in his honor by Premier Erdogan last night, the king referred to the historic relations with Turkey and reiterated his call for an end to Israeli hostilities in Lebanon and Gaza.

King Abdullah also emphasized that Turkey can play a vital role in promoting a dialogue between the West and the Islamic world.

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