Nov 20 2008

Babacan said that Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian would
come to Istanbul on November 24 and he would meet him over the dinner
the same night.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has said that the tripartite
meeting held in Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on November 19 with the
participation of Turkish, Iraqi and U.S. officials was very important
and fruitful.

Babacan met Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu of Romania, who is
currently in Ankara on an official visit. The two ministers held a
joint news conference following the meeting.

Babacan said that Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian would
come to Istanbul on November 24 and he would meet him over the dinner
the same night.

"Our goal in Turkey-Armenia dialogue process is full
normalization. However, we need to take mutual steps to reach that
point. On the other hand, the talks in the region have two separate
lines. One of them is between Turkey and Armenia, and the other between
Azerbaijan and Armenia. Tripartite meetings will take place from time
to time to secure coordination between these two separate lines,"
he said.

"President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Serzh Sargsian met
in Moscow a few days ago. There is new environment in the region to
solve ongoing disputes. This is a significant opportunity we should
well-assess," he said.


Asked about recent developments about Iraq, Babacan told reporters,
"a security agreement was signed between the United States and Iraq,
but has not been come into effect yet. Iraqi State Minister for
National Dialogue Akram al-Hakim is currently in Ankara to hold talks
with Turkish officials. As Turkish party, we conveyed our opinion
about the agreement to both the U.S. and Iraqi parties."

"Turkey has still been fighting against the PKK terrorists organization
by cooperating with the United States and Iraq. During yesterday's
tripartite meeting, the parties reaffirmed that the PKK is a terrorist
organization," he said.

Sound friendship

Babacan said that Turkey's special envoy for Cyprus Murat Ozcelik
was currently holding talks in Baghdad.

Referring the bilateral relations between Turkey and Romania, Babacan
said, "our relations are based on reciprocal understanding and sound
friendship. Our trade volume stood at 7 billion USD last year. This
amount is about to exceed 8 billion by the end of this year. Our
countries also cooperate with each other in energy."

Romanian Foreign Minister Comanescue, in his part, that his country
extended support to Turkey's EU membership process. He said that
Turkey's accession would make important contributions to the Union.

Referring to the global economic crisis, Comanescue said that countries
needed to set a common target. He said that they wanted to increase
trade volume with Turkey up to 10 billion USD in 2010.

Later, Babacan and Comanescu opened an exhibition entitled "Documents
Related to the History of Turkey-Romania Diplomatic Relations" on the
occasion of the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between Turkey and Romania.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress