Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Monday the Netherlands was supporting Turkey's membership bid.
Babacan who is formally visiting the Netherlands, attended the "Netherlands-Turkey" conference together with his Dutch counterpart Maxime Verhagen.
Delivering a speech at the conference, Babacan said they attached importance to Holland in Turkey's EU bid and noted that Holland was supporting Turkey's EU membership.
Meanwhile, Verhagen said Turkey was among Holland's important trade partners and noted that Dutch companies had a big share in direct foreign investments in Turkey.
Verhagen said from time to time Turkey experienced hardships in EU adjustment in regards to reforms and human rights but expressed his faith that these problems would be overcome.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the enhancement of relations between the two countries was signed between the two countries following the speeches of the two foreign ministers.
Under the MoU, top government officials will hold direct talks on issues regarding energy, environment, and transportation. Also under the MoU, "Holland-Turkey" conference will be held twice a year in Turkey and Holland in rotation.
Babacan also met Maria Van Der Hoeven, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, earlier today.
Later, Babacan proceeded to the Turkish Embassy and held a press conference.
Babacan said he asked for Holland's support for Izmir's Expo 2015 candidacy in his meeting with Maria Van Der Hoeven before her departure for Turkey.
Babacan said during Der Hoeven's visit the energy working group formed under the "Holland-Turkey" conference would continue in Turkey.
Answering a question on the prohibition and dissolution lawsuit filed against the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, Babacan said it did not comply with the Copenhagen criteria. He noted that they would proceed with the reform process despite these incidents (prohibition case).
"I hope that common sense will prevail and Turkey will overcome these problems," said Babacan.
Babacan will meet Maxime Verhagen over a working lunch and interdelegatory talks will begin. He will later deliver a speech at the Holland Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association.
Last Mod: 27 Mart 2008, 08:59