Press attaché of Abdullah Gül, the president of Turkey, confirmed today that France will definitely be invited to the upcoming Friends of Syria conference, to be hosted by Turkey. “The Friends of Syria conference we will host is an international summit with all representatives from the first conference participating,” Mehmet Kasap stated, a spokesman for President Gül.
Relations between Turkey and France have become increasingly tense following France’s proposal to adopt a law criminalizing the denial of the existence of the Armenian genocide – an extremely sensitive subject in Turkish national dialogue. The Turkish government subsequently responded by alleging that France committed genocide during Algeria’s struggle to free itself from colonial rule.
The statement was made on the final day of Gül’s three-day diplomatic visit to Tunisia. Gül concluded his trip by touring the Sadiki secondary school and praying in Tunis’s iconic Zeitouna mosque. He returned to Turkey this evening following a closing ceremony held at 4:00pm.
The second Friends of Syria summit will be held in Istanbul on a yet to be determined date.