Turkish Foreign Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said Monday that Turkey would continue to make reforms regarding its EU bid.
At a press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado in Ankara, Babacan said that there were over 20 bills regarding EU reforms pending at the parliament and all those reforms would be enacted once the parliament recess was over on October 1st.
Babacan also said that the government almost completed the national program for the year 2008.
"We will finalize it this month. So, we will announce to Turkish people and the EU what we would do in the short and mid-term," Babacan said. "We have political reforms and activities regarding negotiation chapters in it."
Babacan, who was asked about recent developments in Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said that Turkish government monitored all developments in Kirkuk.
"We attach great importance to the stability in Kirkuk as it is closely related to the stability in Iraq," Babacan said. "Stability of Iraq means the stability of the region."
He warned that unilateral decisions and steps could bring more difficulties and troubles in Kirkuk, adding that Turkey advised all groups in Kirkuk to come together to solve problems with dialogue and compromise.
Babacan said he held a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently on the issue, and the UN felt concerned over Kirkuk and several other Iraqi cities.
"We are trying to encourage them on that matter. We want to see more United Nations in Iraq," he said.
Last week, a suicide bomber killed at least 22 Iraqis at a protest rally in Kirkuk.
In the aftermath of the bombing, protestors attacked an Iraqi Turkmen Front office and clashes broke out between protesters and guards protecting the office.
Babacan said on Monday that discussions regarding visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to Turkey were "groundless initiatives" aiming at casting shadow over the visit, and Turkey had to focus on the core of the visit.
Asked to comment on news reports that Iranian President would not visit Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Babacan said, "discussions are underway all around the world about Iran's nuclear program. Discussions about the place, time and format of the visit are inappropriate and aim at impeding success of the visit."
When asked to comment on Turkey's stance on referendum proposal of a State Department executive for the solution of the problem about Upper Karabakh, Babacan said, "Minsk process, a separate negotiation process, carried out under co-chairmanship of USA, Russia and France is in question. Turkey supports Minsk process. We hope that the parties would succeed in a compromise and common basis."
Turkish Foreign Minister described relations between Turkey and Portugal as perfect. "Bilateral relations are fostered within the scope of NATO, Mediterranean, and EU process," he said.
"Turkey and Portugal share common values like democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, free market economy and supremacy of law. Bilateral relations are based on friendship and cooperation," Babacan said and expressed pleasure over Portugal's support for Turkey's EU bid.
Babacan said programs would be prepared for the next period to boost cooperation between Turkey and Portugal in education and culture.
Amado, Portuguese Foreign Minister, said his visit aimed at emphasizing the will of Portugal to strengthen relations between the two countries.
Amado pointed to Turkey's role in the region, and Turkey had a responsibility to restore peace and stability in the region.
Amado said Portugal would continue to support Turkey's EU bid, and favored continuation of Turkish-EU relations and did its best to prevent deterioration of relations.
Last Mod: 04 Ağustos 2008, 17:37