Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Saturday, "France sent three official letters and three special envoys to invite Turkey to participate in the Union for the Mediterranean. Also, President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to invite him to the summit."
Babacan, who is currently in Brussels on an official visit, said at a news conference, "there was a discrimination between the EU-member states and the Mediterranean countries in France's first proposal about the project. The Turkish party objected to that discrimination. We said that Turkey did not have the same position with a north African country and that Turkey should have a different position and status. Our objection was accepted."
"As a result of Turkey's initiatives, the status of candidate country was included in the draft statement of the summit on 'Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean' to be convened in Paris on Sunday. Also, all participating countries, including non-EU states, were granted equal status," he said.
"France sent three official letters and three special envoys to invite Turkey to participate in the Union for the Mediterranean. Also, President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give his personal commitment," he said.
Babacan added, "the draft statement will be given its final shape in Paris later today. It will be approved by foreign ministers and submitted to the heads of state and government on Sunday. There is no need to be worried since Turkey's requirements were met to a significant extent."
The Union for the Mediterranean is a proposed community of EU-member states and countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea planned to be established in July 2008. It was originally suggested by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as part of his election campaign. Sarkozy, last year, invited all Mediterranean leaders to a summit in France to take place in July 13th, 2008.
Last Mod: 12 Temmuz 2008, 14:27