Babacan, Lavrov hold press conference

Babacan and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a press conference following their tete-a-tete meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

Babacan, Lavrov hold press conference
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday Turkey attaches great importance to cooperation with Russia in energy matters.

Babacan and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a press conference following their tete-a-tete meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

"We attach high importance to cooperation with the Russians on energy. Turkey and Russia are two important countries that can help transfer oil and natural gas to different markets. It is important for us to complement our efforts in energy with the Russians," Babacan noted.

"We consider the Russian Federation as a strategic neighbor whose friendship and cooperation we value highly," Babacan indicated.

Meanwhile, Lavrov remarked that "relations between Turkey and Russia are at good level."

"We have reaffirmed our desire to develop bilateral relations and raise our relations to the level of partnership," Lavrov underlined.

"There exists good cooperation between Russian and Turkish security experts. We have good cooperation in the fight against terrorism, illicit drugs and human trafficking," Lavrov stressed.

Reminded of recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West is applying double standards in the case of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and its possible recognition, Lavrov emphasized that "Russia's attitude on Cyprus has not changed. It is our wish to find a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the decisions of the United Nations Security Council. We support the U.N. Secretary General's mission in Cyprus."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday Turkey's evaluation of the independence of Kosovo differs from that of Russia and Turkey has respect for the decision of Russia on Kosovo.

"We pay high attention to the existence of an understanding of permanent peace in the Balkans which in recent years went through turmoil and suffered great pains," Babacan told in response to a question from a journalist.

"We have always supported sides in Kosovo in reaching a consensus. We have extended support to the process led by the U.N.'s special envoy in Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari. We have supported the efforts of the Russian Federation, the EU and the United States on Kosovo. We respect the decision of the Russian Federation on Kosovo. Turkey differed from the Russian Federation on its evaluations from the perspective of laws and politics on Kosovo. Accordingly, the decision made by Turkey on Kosovo differed from the one that the Russia made," Babacan stressed.

"Serbia will play an important role for the future of the Balkans. We do want to promote our relations with Serbia," Babacan underlined.

"Turkey and the Russian Federation want stability and peace in the Balkans. Based on our common wishes, we are ready to work with Russia," Babacan underscored.

Meanwhile, Lavrov, in response to a question on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, said Russia is working to make the BSEC effective.

"The Blackseafor continues its activities against international smuggling, international terrorism, and nuclear and chemical threats. The Black Sea Harmony suggested by Turkey has similar characteristics. Turkey, Russia and Ukraine already joined the Black Sea Harmony and Romania is making preparations to join this body," Lavrov stressed.

Following the joint press conference, Babacan proceeded to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti for a press briefing to Russian journalists.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Şubat 2008, 11:55