Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who was in Paris on a formal visit, met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Thursday. Topics discussed included relations between the two countries, the fight against terrorism, as well as activities during the Season of Turkey, officials said. Gül arrived in Paris on Wednesday to attend activities of the Season of Turkey. He had a meeting with Fillon over lunch. Turkish state minister and chief EU negotiator, Egemen Bağış, and French Secretary of State for European Affairs Pierre Lellouche were also in attendance at the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Gül met with UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura, and said the international organization should continue assuming important roles.

“UNESCO has proven that boosting educational, scientific and cultural cooperation among countries is necessary for the development of a culture of peace in the world," Gül told the Plenary Ministerial Forum of the 35th UNESCO General Conference.

Gül is the first ever Turkish president to address the UNESCO General Conference.

For his part, Davidson Hepburn, the president of the 35th session of UNESCO's General Conference, eulogized the active role Turkey has played in many international projects. Hepburn said that Turkey, which co-chaired the Alliance of Civilizations Project with Spain, served dialogue among cultures as well as the basic values of UNESCO.

On Friday, Gül and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will together open the "From Byzantium to Istanbul: One Port, Two Continents" exhibition, which will be held at the "Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais," Champs-Elysées.

Following the opening ceremony, the two presidents will hold a meeting to discuss bilateral relations, cooperation opportunities, and regional and international issues.