21 October 2009

President Ivanov visiting Turkey

Citizens of Macedonia will never forget the consistent and constructive support, as well as Turkey's solidarity since the first days of Macedonia's independence. The use of Macedonia's constitutional name, support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity, strong support to the country's NATO integration can be expected only from sincere friends, said President Gjorge Ivanov after Friday's meeting with Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, MIA reports from Ankara.
President Ivanov stressed that his first official visit to Turkey is exceptionally significant, representing an expression of strong friendship between the two nations, but also contribution to the further successful development of mutual relations.
"I believe that relations and cooperation with the Republic of Turkey, which are characterized by the spirit of friendship, mutual understanding, trust and support, are issues of highest state interest for Macedonia", stated Ivanov.
He once again voiced satisfaction from the fair evaluation of Macedonia's progress in the recently published EC Progress Report. "The commitment and achieved results should be acknowledged through an appropriate decision by the EU Council.
The beginning of EU accession talks would represent a clear and positive signal for our country, but also for the region. I am convinced that the Republic of Macedonia has the political, administrative and institutional capacity to start EU accession talks", emphasized President Ivanov. "Turkey will resume to defend Macedonia's interests and positions in NATO, for the purpose of Balkan and European stability. This is possible only when the entire region is united under the umbrella of the European Union and NATO", said Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
He stressed the significance of bilateral relations, voicing the need for further enhancement of economic and commercial relations through encouragement of Turkish businessmen to invest in Macedonia, as well as strengthening of ties in the culture and education sectors.
Earlier, President Ivanov laid flowers at the mausoleum of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. President Ivanov is scheduled to meet later today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, followed by a lecture at TOBB-ETU University, where he will be proclaimed an honorary PhD.

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