ANKARA: Turkey Is One Of Foremost Countries That Display Utmost Care


Today’s Zaman
Sept 10 2008

President Abdullah Gul said Wednesday that Turkey is one of the
foremost countries that display utmost care and make efforts for
Azerbaijan’s interests.

Speaking to reporters prior to his departure for Baku at Ankara’s
Esenboga International Airport, Gul stressed that no one should doubt
Turkey’s utmost care for Azerbaijan.

"We pay high attention to exchanging viewpoints with Azerbaijan on
bilateral, regional and international developments," Gul said.

"Turkey is a country that shows care and make efforts for the interests
of Azerbaijan. This approach has been a part of our foreign policy. My
second foreign trip, after having become the Turkish president last
year, took place in Azerbaijan. This shows the importance I attach
to Azerbaijan," Gul noted.

Gul’s first trip abroad, as the Turkish president, was made to the
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

"With this understanding, we have conducted high level visits between
our two countries. During the days of tension in the region recently,
our prime minister paid a visit to Baku along with the Turkish foreign
minister on August 20th, 2008. On August 29th, the foreign minister of
Azerbaijan came to Turkey to hold talks. The last time I met with the
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was during the foundation laying
ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project in July," Gul said.

"During my talks with Aliyev (today), we would hold talks on our
region following the incidents in Georgia last month. One of the
topics we would discuss is Turkey’s proposed ‘Caucasus Stability and
Cooperation Platform’," Gul said.

"Naturally, I would convey to Aliyev my impressions on my recent
visit to Yerevan, Armenia. Furthermore, I would find an opportunity
to discuss issues related to our two countries in the region with
Aliyev," Gul said.

Asked if he expects feelings of offense from Azerbaijan on his recent
trip to Yerevan, Gul said that he does "not expect such a reaction
from Azerbaijan. Every country has independent policies. As I stated
earlier, Turkey is a country that supports Azerbaijan in related
matters. No one has any doubts on this."

Gul would be paying a one-day working visit to Baku on Wednesday. He
would return back to Turkey later on Wednesday night.

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