Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan hopes to attend the inaugural summit of the Mediterranean Union project in France, a senior government source said on Tuesday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy had invited heads of state and government from around the Mediterranean to meet in France on July 13 to launch his project for a regional union.
Sarkozy called Erdogan to invite him to the summit. "The prime minister said he will try to attend if nothing extraordinary happens," the government source said.
Erdogan's attendance would be a fresh boost to the project after confirmation on Monday that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would attend the launch of the union, which brings together European and Mediterranean countries.
It had been unclear whether Turkey would send a high-level representative to the meeting amid concerns that it might be seen as an alternative to its drive to join the EU, with which it started membership talks in October 2005.
The European Commission has said the union should aim to boost trade and prosperity, while reducing illegal migration, terrorsom and criminality.
The Commission set out four projects for approval at the inaugural summit in Paris. These include new sea routes and upgraded port facilities, a new road link for the Maghreb Arab states Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, and added impetus and finance to a agreed plan for cleaning up the Mediterranean.
Last Mod: 08 Temmuz 2008, 14:44