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ANKARA: Turkish, Swiss presidents discuss Caucasus, trade, multicult

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  • ANKARA: Turkish, Swiss presidents discuss Caucasus, trade, multicult

    Anadolu Agency, Turkey
    Nov 25 2010

    Turkish, Swiss presidents discuss Caucasus, trade, multiculturalism

    Bern, 25 November 2010: Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that
    Turkey and Switzerland had a great cooperation in political issues and
    the two countries should boost economic cooperation.

    Gul and Doris Leuthard, President of Swiss Confederation, held a joint
    press conference in Swiss capital of Bern on Thursday [25 November].

    Gul said that there were several cooperation opportunities in several
    areas such as energy, stating that Leuthard and he held fruitful talks
    on these matters.

    Replying to a question on Caucasus, Gul said that there were some
    problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as between Turkey and

    "A part of territories of Azerbaijan is under occupation and some
    unexpected problems may also appear. Everyone should work for
    solution," he said.

    Gul said Turkey attached a great importance to normalization of its
    relations with Armenia.

    "The current situation in Caucasus is not to the interests of Eurasia,
    Europe and Asia. Because these problems are like a wall between Europe
    and Asia. If these problems are removed, there will be more
    cooperation in several areas such as energy," he said.

    Replying to a question, Leuthard said that Switzerland was open to
    multiculturalism, but there were some rules that should be obeyed by

    Regarding the ban on the construction of minarets, the prayer towers
    of mosques, in Switzerland, Leuthard said that it was a construction
    ban and it did not prevent anyone from worshipping in mosques. It was
    a referendum and it should be respected, she said.

    Gul said that different cultures and languages were living together in
    Switzerland and everyone could pray in a way that he/she wanted. Gul
    added but there was no need to be afraid of minarets.

    Leuthard said that many countries suffered from global economic
    crisis, stating that Turkey and Switzerland weathered economic crisis

    Turkey was an important partner of Switzerland and 250,000 Swiss
    tourists visited Turkey annually, she said.

    From: A. Papazian