Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that Turkey was the closest friend of Macedonia, and proved its friendly ties by becoming the first country which recognized Macedonia with its constitutional name and nation.
President Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul hosted a banquet in honor of President Gjorge Ivanov and his wife Maya Ivanov, who are currently in Ankara on a state visit, at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.
President Gul said at the banquet that there had been great historical and cultural ties between Turkish and Macedonian peoples.
"Macedonia takes place in the heart of the Balkans in which we want to ensure stability and prosperity. We wish that Macedonia will contribute this process by integrating with European-Atlantic institutions. Turkey is the closest friend of Macedonia, and proved its friendly ties by becoming the first country which recognized Macedonia with its constitutional name and nation," he said.
President Ivanov, on his part, said that his country attached great importance to development of relations and cooperation with Turkey.
He added that they considered Turkey a unique friend, a powerful supporter and ally and partner.
Mutual culture centers will be opened in Istanbul and Skopje.