In his speech, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arange addressed several issues that fall within the context of the 8th AlJazeera Forum’s topic, "Change in the Arab World: Where To?"
The text of his speech is below:
“By virtue of its annual congregation, the forum plays a very important role by addressing issues of the Middle East and beyond, making the title particularly fitting. Looking at the Arab world, there is variation and diversity that does not allow generalizations. Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Syria, for example, all have their own unique characteristics despite their commonalities. The region has witnessed many changes and transformations, and despite the challenges, the spirit of change still exists.
Perhaps the fundamental question in the region lies in the issue of unity and integration. This area is the heart of the world and we must maintain its security. This means that Arab and Muslim countries will play an important role in the global balance.
The demands of the popular uprisings that began in December 2010 focused on civil rights and justice because authorities had been isolated from their peoples and had no understanding of the average citizens' daily lives. Those regimes, therefore, had to leave. It was clear that the path taken by the popular movements in the Arab countries has faced formidable challenges in Syria, where human tragedy is immense, and in Egypt, where we are witnessing traumatic events rendering the  Arab Spring an Arab Winter.
Turkey was unable to remain idle in the face of the changes in the Arab world as it sees that a long-term vision – as opposed to a short-term one based on daily interests – must be set and investment in the infrastructure and the people must be made to secure fundamental changes.
Struggles and wars do not bring forth any benefits. Hence, our message must be a message of peace, and wherever there is a problem, it must be resolved regardless of its linguistic, religious, or ethnic dimensions.
Also, the economic aspect of change is an important issue because God has blessed this region with oil and gas. This wealth gives the countries in question immense opportunities. It is imperative that these natural resources be used to achieve unity and peace although they have in fact hindered them. After all, the Tunisian mobile-merchant who sparked this Arab Spring did so because he was jobless. It is important to establish policies that strengthen capital and improve the economies of Arab countries. There is no doubt that moving towards technology and research is important to secure stability and integration for the region as well.
Politics and the economy are inseparable, and it is important to use economic capabilities to achieve peace. It is important for rich countries to help poor ones. It is widely known that out of the twenty strongest economies in the world, only three exist in the Middle East.
Middle Eastern countries must work on the stability of their region to ensure a prominence in the economies of the world, especially because they have shown only five per cent growth in the last ten years, which is an important indicator. In comparison, Turkey's share of exports has multiplied tri-fold. It is therefore important to set forth economic foundations and free trade, and remove restrictions on the movement of people and goods to improve the regional economy.
I believe that this region will see a better future through governments that pay heed to their people. There is no doubt that the AlJazeera forum will be an important platform for the discussion of critical issues, thus facilitating the discovery of common values and interests”.