Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that there might be steps Turkey and Mexico could jointly take to deal with organized crimes.

"In 1990s, Mexico succeeded in destruction of the terrorist organization," Erdogan told a joint news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Erdogan said diplomatic relations between Turkey and Mexico had started 81 years ago, "however, only three high level visits took place in 81 years. Then prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, visited Mexico 10 years ago. Last year, the Turkish foreign minister paid a visit. I believe that our visit would be a new milestone."

Erdogan expressed Turkey's willingness to boost relations with Latin America and the Caribbeans.

"Starting as of 2006, the Turkish government speeded up Strategy Plan towards Latin America and the Caribbeans which started to be implemented in 1998. This visit aims at boosting this momentum and fostering actual relations. I would like to particularly underline that political, economic, commercial and cultural relations should be improved," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said Mexico was one of the most important building stones of Turkey's policy of launching initiatives in Latin America, "political importance of Mexico, the 13th biggest economy of the world, gradually rises in Latin America and in the world. Turkey and Mexico work in close cooperation under important institutions like G-20, UN Security Council and OECD."

"We have agreed on turning relations between Turkey and Mexico into a closer and fruitful cooperation. We have also assessed developments closely concerning the two countries and threatening international peace and stability. We also agreed that continuation of cooperation under G-20 would be useful in dealing with problems like global economic crisis," he said.

Referring to fight against illicit drug trafficking, Erdogan said, "Turkey is almost at the position of a transit country of drug trafficking activities stemming from Afghanistan. Turkish security forces have been carrying out very successful operations. Mexico experiences similar problems. We agreed to launch joint efforts."

Commenting on bilateral economic relations, Erdogan said the trade volume between Turkey and Mexico was actually 450 million USD. "This figure is of course very low for the 13th and 17th biggest economies of the world. We agreed to overcome this problem."
"Businessmen of the two countries should be encouraged to launch investments," Erdogan said and invited Calderon to Turkey.

Mexican President Calderon said the two countries were consolidating their bilateral relations, indicating that important topics of the common agenda were discussed during the formal visit of Erdogan.

Calderon said the two countries reached a consensus of opinion on working together to encourage mutual investments and resolve global problems in various international platforms.


Referring to geostrategical importance of Mexico and Turkey with respect to their population, economy and leadership, Calderon said Mexico also had problems stemming from its geopolitical location.

Calderon said Turkey and Mexico would strengthen cooperation in the UN Security Council to allay and prevent disagreements on security in 2009 and 2010.

Calderon said Mexico supported "Alliance of Civilizations", a joint initiative of Turkey and Spain, and supported works to boost dialogue between the Islamic and Western cultures.

"We also aim at boosting scientific and cultural cooperation. Mexico will assume roles in activities like exchange of students, artistic activities and promotion of institutes. We should accelerate commercial relations and reciprocal visits," he said.

The Mexican president also invited Erdogan to his country in 2010 to attend celebrations to mark 200th anniversary of the Mexican revolution.

AA

Photos: AA