Turkish, Albanian FMs hold joint press conference

Turkish FM Ali Babacan said on Tuesday objective and scope of (Turkish) military operation into northern Iraq are well-known and the operation will continue till it reaches its goal.

Turkish, Albanian FMs hold joint press conference
Babacan and Albanian FM Lulzim Basha held a joint press conference in Ankara.

Turkey has been using all instruments at its disposal to fight against terrorism, Babacan said when replying to questions.

Asked whether Turkey would assign a representative to Iraq soon, Babacan said there have been mutual visits and talks between Turkey and Iraq. "We will send a delegation to Baghdad nowadays within the scope of political dialogue process," he stated.

Babacan said Basha and he discussed the ways to boost current cooperation between the two countries. Turkey always supported Albania, an important country as far as peace and prosperity in Balkans are concerned, he said. Albania recorded great progress in its integration into the EU, Babacan added.

"Turkey will keep assisting Albania's goal to become a NATO member as it did in the past."

Trade volume between the two countries exceeded 300 million U.S. dollars last year and Turkey and Albania should exert more efforts to boost commercial relations, he added.

Albanian FM Lulzim Basha said on Tuesday that independence of Kosovo was a new chance for Serbia.

Basha said, "our bilateral talks and personal friendship are indications of perfect relations between the two parties."

Basha said his formal visit to Turkey is an evidence of good relations between Turkey and Albania, noting that sincere ties between the two countries were further strengthened after Turkey recognized Kosovo's independence.

The guest minister stated that very important steps have been taken as regards integration of the Balkans into Europe after recognition of Kosovo.

"Turkey and Albania signed more than 100 agreements in the past 12 years," Basha said, adding that economic relations progressed particularly thanks to close cooperation between Albanian PM Sali Berisha and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Basha said they were pleased to see Turkish entrepreneurs investing in Albania in areas extending from infrastructure to energy, and from agriculture to tourism and transportation.

Basha also thanked for Turkey's support extended during Bucharest summit for Albania to be a member of Euro-Atlantic structures. "Turkey also extends support to Albania for modernization of military and army," he recalled.

Albanian minister also emphasized that Turkey has become a global actor.

On the other hand, Babacan said Turkey attaches importance to the preservation of stability in the Balkans.

"Prosperity of the regional people must be enhanced to ensure a lasting peace in the Balkans," Babacan said, and noted that Turkey was ready to work with the regional countries to reach this goal.

Asked to comment on Kosovo, Babacan said, "Balkans had to suffer for long years. Turkey respects the will of the people of Kosovo. Turkey also expends full support to NATO membership of Albania, Macedonia and Croatia."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2008, 11:51