Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Monday that Turkey had intensive commercial and economic relations both with the East and the Islamic countries.


"Turkey's EU membership bid and its works within the scope of COMCEC are the elements of its foreign policy that do not contradict but support each other," President Gul said while addressing the Economy Summit in Istanbul on the sidelines of the 25th session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul.

President Gul said last year's food crisis revealed the importance of improvement of cooperation in agriculture, indicating that agriculture had vital importance for many countries particularly to diminish poverty.

Gul said the parties should develop medium and long term programs for agricultural cooperation and food security considering that many people were face to face with hunger in OIC member countries.

Gul said Turkey was endeavoring to contribute to the solution of the problems that directly or indirectly affect COMCEC members, "this understanding is valid for all problems mainly the Palestine problem, Arab-Israel conflict, situation in Iraq and Lebanon, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and other countries."

Gul recalled that Turkey hosted many international events in 2009 like the Water Forum, Alliance of Civilizations Forum, and lately the World Bank-IMF annual meetings. He said Turkey favored solution of the problems through dialogue and diplomacy.

Gul said Turkey believed that problems of the region should be solved by the regional countries and noted that Turkey established Turkish-Arab Forum with the Arab League in this respect, and developed strategic dialogue mechanism with Gulf Cooperation Council. "All these are the indications of the importance Turkey has been attaching to relations with the regional countries," he added.

Gul said establishing model relations with its neighbors, based on mutual interest, good neighborhood, friendship, cooperation and solidarity were the primary targets of Turkey.

Referring to the importance of parliamentary elections scheduled for January 2010 in Iraq, Gul said, "Turkey continues to support efforts in Iraq to restore stability, security and national compromise. Turkey also encourages all political groups to solve the problems through political dialogue and national compromise."

Gul said a new period had started between Turkey and Iraq with the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting in October, and stated that 48 memoranda of understanding had been signed between Turkey and Iraq.

"Ways for a comprehensive economic integration are opened with the memoranda of understanding. We are resolved to turn Mesopotamia basin into a common stability and welfare area with the support of COMCEC member countries," he added.

News: AA

Photo: AA