Lithuania vows to support Turkish EU bid

Fellow NATO member says Lithuania can bring its experience of 10 years of EU negotiations to Turkey.

Lithuania vows to support Turkish EU bid
World Bulletin/News Desk
 Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite has pledged her country's support for Turkey's EU membership bid, while urging better economic ties between the two countries.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Turkey-Lithuania Business Forum in Istanbul on Tuesday, Grybauskaite said Lithuania was “firmly supporting Turkey for European membership."

"Our own experiences for 10 years of membership and about 10 years of negotiations can be useful," she added.

Turkey has experienced long EU membership negotiations since it originally applied in 1987.

Both NATO-member countries, with growth rates over the Eurozone average, joined to hold a business forum to boost trade and investment between the two nations in Istanbul, as part of Grybauskaite’s two-day visit to Turkey.

Turkey grew by 4.1 percent last year while Lithuania stood at a 3.4 percent growth rate. Eurozone countries shrank by 0.4 percent in the same year.

The president said that an agreement over transportation would be signed after a meeting with Turkish transport minister, Lutfi Elvan.

The bilateral trade volume of the two countries reached $580 million in 2013, according to the Turkish agriculture minister Mehdi Eker, who also spoke during the ceremony.

Eker urged more bilateral investment and trade between the countries, saying that Ankara plans to invest $80 billion in Turkey's transportation projects and $108 billion in the energy sector until 2023, a year which will mark Turkey's centennial of the foundation of the Republic.

On Monday, the Lithuanian president said that she had agreed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to increase the trade volume up to $1 billion during a joint press conference in Ankara.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2014, 22:36