TURKEY SET TO TAKE OVER CHAIRMANSHIP OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE - FOREIGN MINISTER

Anadolu Agency
Oct 31 2010
Turkey

Shanghai, 31 October: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said
that Turkey would play an active role during its six-month chairmanship
of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Davutoglu told reporters while flying to Shanghai as part of his
official visit to China, "Turkey's taking over the chairmanship of COE
Committee of Ministers is a very important and historical development.

It displays the level reached by Turkey in its democratization
process. Turkey also holds the presidency of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe. These are the highest positions
held by Turkey simultaneously in the European system created after
the Vienna Congress in 1815."

"I held phone conversations with the foreign ministers of Croatia
and Serbia overnight to contribute to the political process in
Bosnia-Hercegovina," he said.

Referring to Turkey-Greece relations, Davutoglu said, "we resumed
exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece following last year's
meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime
Minister George Papandreou and my visit to Greece earlier this year.

The exploratory talks will be held in an atmosphere of good-will and
compromise. We want the Aegean Sea to turn into a sea of friendship."

Asked about claims that the United States used the issue of so-called
Armenian genocide as a trump, Davutoglu said, "it is definitely out of
question. Friendly and allied countries do not use any issues as trump
against us. It is against the understanding of the Alliance. There
have been productive and fruitful relations between Turkey and the
United States."




From: A. Papazian