Turkey, Lithuania sign cultural cooperation protocol
Turkey and Lithuania signed a cultural cooperation protocol on Friday.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and his Lithuanian counterpart Vygaudas Usackas put their signatures under a protocol envisaging cooperation in education, culture, arts, youth matters, sports, media and social relations.
Babacan had a tete-a-tete meeting with Usatskas in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, where he is paying a one-day formal visit. The two ministers later held a joint press conference and signed the protocol.
"The protocol envisions extending financial support and granting scholarships," Usackas said during the signature ceremony of the protocol.
Usackas said that the protocol also envisages exchange of experts between two countries and joint scientific researches.
The Lithuanian minister said Turkey had a key role in the geographically and strategically sensitive region it was situated in, and backed Turkey's European Union (EU) membership bid.
Usackas said that two countries were planning to organize a business forum. Also speaking in the ceremony, Babacan said that two countries were cooperating in NATO, Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and thanked for Lithuania's support for Turkey's EU membership bid.
Babacan said that the trade volume between two countries was around 400 million USD, and more than 95,000 Lithuanian people visited Turkey last year.
"The most important project we are working on right now is the Viking railway project, and if it is implemented, there will be railway connection between Lithuania and Turkey," he said.
Babacan said that Turkey attached importance to energy security in the EU territory, and the Nabucco project.
The Nabucco pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. It will run from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria.
"We are working hard to implement Nabucco as soon as possible," he also said.
Babacan said Usackas and he also discussed visa simplifications for Turkish citizens, and visa exemption for Lithuanian citizens, which he believed would increase contacts between Turkish and Lithuanian people.
After participating in a luncheon hosted in his honor by Usackas, Babacan delivered a speech on Turkey's foreign policy at the Vilnius University.
AA Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2009, 17:06