Georgia peace strategically important for Turkey: Erdogan

PM Erdogan said Turkey supported protection of Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity --as recognised by international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Georgia peace strategically important for Turkey: Erdogan

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that Turkey supported protection of Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity --as recognised by international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Erdogan and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili held a joint press conference after their meeting in Tbilisi.

Erdogan told reporters that they came to Georgia, Turkey's neighbour and friend, to share the pain and suffering caused by the recent conflict and to express their concern over the destruction caused by this conflict and exchange views.

He said Turkish nation followed the developments in Georgia with concern.

Erdogan regarded Georgia as a country with strategic importance in the South Caucuses and said the peace and welfare of this country was important for Turkey.

PM Erdogan said Turkey was determined to contribute to efforts to ease the suffering of civilian population in the region. He said Turkish Red Crescent was the first humanitarian relief organisation to reach out to the region and added that it would determine the needs of the population and continue to provide humanitarian aid.

He said a convoy carrying 160 tons of food stuff would reach the region on Thursday.

Erdogan said he shared his proposal for the formation of a cooperation platform in the Caucasus for the establishment of true peace, security and stability with the Georgian president.

"Such a formation --in which we wish also Georgia to partake-- is foreseen to be a stability and cooperation platform, including a crisis resolution and management mechanism in line with OSCE principles, also looking out for regional peace, security, economic cooperation and energy security," said Erdogan.

He said such a platform would be useful for avoiding similar conflicts in the future.

Erdogan said he shared the proposal with the Russian Federation during his visit to this country and noted that Russian Federation was sympathetic to the proposal.

Saakashvili said that Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline was not a military target, but Russia attacked the pipeline.

Saakashvili said the goal of Russia in targeting BTC pipeline was to weaken Georgia's economic power.

Saakashvili thanked to Erdogan for his contributions to ensure lasting peace in the region and wanted Turkey to continue its assistance.

Georgian President also said he was sorry that Turkish journalists were injured in the region.

Later Erdogan and the accompanying delegation left fot Turkey.

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Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2008, 17:14
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