Napolitano tells Gul EU semester to re-launch Turkey talks

Turkish president, Italy has always supported us

29 January, 14:46

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 29 - During the rotating Italian EU presidency, 'Italy will re-launch in every way EU negotiations with Turkey, although it is aware that there are complex and thorny issues to be solved', Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Wednesday at the end of talks with Turkish head of State Abdullah Gul at the presidential Quirinale palace in Rome.

    The Turkish president said that 'our objective, at the end of the process, is full EU membership. It is necessary to bring new life to negotiations, too often hampered by political impediments which prevented us from moving forward. This is not acceptable'.

    'Italy has always supported us, I am convinced it will continue to do so', he added, thanking the head of State.

    The two presidents also talked about Syria. Italy and Turkey are working 'to block armed conflict in Syria and give life, through a transition government, to a political solution', explained Napolitano. 'We spoke about ways to provide an end to an agonizing conflict which has caused huge damage and the loss of many human lives, with a desperate flow towards bordering countries including Turkey', added the president, who stressed that Ankara had shown 'responsibility' in giving 'hospitality to 700,000 Syrian refugees'. For his part, Gul defined the war in Syria as a 'worldwide drama' and explained that if Turkey had not welcomed Syrian refugees, if it had not built camps for 250,000 people and spent 2.5 billion dollars 'with humanitarian spirit', 'the majority of this population would have died'.

    The economy was also a relevant topic discussed: 'Italy is Turkey's fourth commercial partner' and bilateral economic relations between Rome and Ankara 'have an even bigger potential' said Gul who is travelling in his official visit along with a significant delegation of Turkish firms. The Turkish president said he was convinced exchanges 'will grow further'. And he called on Italian companies to invest in Turkey. 'The Turkish economy is not in difficulty' both in terms of growth and employment (over six million jobs have been created, he stressed). Debt and deficit are 'under the level required by Maastricht'. 'We are a dynamic economy which provides beautiful opportunities', said the Turkish president speaking from the Quirinale palace.

    The Italian head of State spoke along the same lines, also recalling how 'friendship and cooperation' relations between Rome and Ankara have 'intensified and developed' over the past few years. In particular 'economic relations' have grown, he observed. 'Many Italian firms work in Turkey and in particular in the energy sector there are perspectives for further development' also because, added Napolitano 'Turkey was not affected by the global financial crisis'. (ANSAmed)
    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean