Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Thursday Turkey's goal was to become a full member of EU, and Cyprus could not hinder Turkey's EU accession process. President Gul and Albanian President Bamir Topi held a joint press conference in Albanian capital of Tirana.

Turkey is always beside Albania and attaches a great importance to its development, Gul said.

President Gul said, "Turkey considers Albania a strategic partner in the region. Albania also attaches great importance to Turkey."
Turkey also supports Albania's NATO membership process, he said.

President Gul said that the number of Turkish troops in Afghanistan was increased to 1,700 from 700. "I believe that contributing to world peace was a honorary mission," he said.