Kuwait'sPrime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah was the bearer of good newswhen he told his Turkish counterpart, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, onWednesday that the Turkish Republic of NorthernCyprus (KKTC) could open a trade office in his country.
Erdoðan made the good news regarding the Turkish Cypriots public at a joint pressconference with al-Sabah following their talks in Ankara. Al-Sabah arrived in the Turkishcapital late on Tuesday for an official visit. There have also been steps takenby the Kuwaiti business world to invest in northern Cyprus,Erdoðan noted, while he said this decision by the Kuwaiti government would bepleasing news for Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, who was also in Ankara to deliver a conference at the Middle East Technical University on the sameday.
For Kuwaitto take such a step after the same type of KKTC trade office was opened in Oman, Qatarand the United Arab Emiratesshows how much importance has been attributed to the issue of easing theisolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Erdoðan said.
Meanwhile, al-Sabah and Erdoðan signed three agreements between the twocountries concerning abolition of requirement to secure visas for officialpassports, a cultural exchange program and cooperation between the HousingDevelopment Administration of Turkey (TOKÝ) and the Kuwait Finance House.
"The agreements signed confirm that the Kuwaiti side has the samewillingness and determination that we have for increasing our cooperation inevery field," Erdoðan said, while the visiting prime minister also expressedhis country's willingness for stronger relations with Turkey. "I hopethis visit will accelerate our relations," Erdoðan concluded.
As for his part, al-Sabah started his remarks by saying he completely agreedwith Erdoðan. "As all member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), we welcomecooperation with the KKTC," al-Sabah said in remarks translated from Arabic toTurkish through an interpreter. He also called on the Turkish business world to"be visible" in the Kuwaiti market.
"We will soon see all kinds of Turkish products in our markets," he said,voicing a desire for closer commercial ties.
In 2005 Turkey signed aframework economic cooperation agreement with the oil-rich GCC that will pavethe way for a free trade pact between Ankaraand the six-nation bloc. Last year, the foreign ministers of the two countriessigned a memorandum of understanding for political consultations between Turkey and Kuwait. Kuwaitis one of the countries that have proclaimed support for Turkey's efforts for a solution to thedecades-old Cyprus disputeas well as for Ankara'saspirations to secure a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. Diplomaticsources say Kuwait has madeforeign investments in only two countries, Turkeyand China.
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