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Turkish President eager to hold fruitful talks with Sheikh Khalifa

posted on 30/01/2012: 716 views

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Sunday that he was looking forward to holding fruitful talks with President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his visit to the UAE which began yesterday.

President Gul said in an interview with Abu Dhabi Television ahead of his departure to Abu Dhabi that he will discuss during his visit bilateral relations and regional as well as international issues. He described his country's relations with the UAE as "historic and deep-rooted," adding that Turkey was aspiring to further strengthen ties with the brotherly UAE.

President Gul indicated that his talks will also touch on economic, commercial, cultural and tourism cooperation, referring to bilateral trade exchange between the two countries which stood at US$ 5 billion.

"We are aspiring to increase our trade exchange volume to US$ 10 billion," he said.

He also underlined importance of his country's relations with the GCC countries in perpetuating regional peace and stability. He said Turkey and the Arab world in general share similar customs and rich Islamic heritage and urged stronger cooperation in political and economic fields.

Asked if the recent financial crisis in Europe had cast shadows on the Turkish economy, he said although his country enjoys vast economic relations with all countries of the world, it is still affected by any crisis or progress in the EU countries.

On the current developments in the Arab world, President Gul called for avoiding any crises that may jeopardise stability and security. He recalled the cooperation between UAE and Turkey in providing humanitarian aid to the people of Libya.

President Gulf said he regretted the turn of events in Syria and expressed the hope that the regime will heed calls for reforms that will benefit Syrian people and help stop the bloodshed there. He also voiced concerns over instability in Iraq.

Gul played down reports talking about Ankara paying more attention now to the Arab world which was once part of the Ottoman Empire legacy after its bids to join the EU faced stumbling blocks. "There is no a power-struggle to control the region. We do not compete with any other country and we are not interested in any conflict. Turkey and Iran are very important countries. We enjoy excellent relations with Tehran and with the Arab countries." President Gul stressed the need for a peaceful approach to the Iranian nuclear dossier in order to avert new conflicts in the region. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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