Turkish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Animal Breeding Mehdi Eker has signed a memorandum of understanding on technical, scientific and economic cooperation in agriculture with his Spanish counterpart Miguel Arias Cañete.
"Turkey and Spain are two nations that work towards the advancement of democracy, human rights and freedoms in their own regions and around the world," Turkish Minister Eker said during the joint press conference held before the signing ceremony.
The agreement would provide sizable benefits to both countries, Eker said, which are already working together in International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM).
While the trade volume between the two countries had progressed satisfactorily in the last decade, reaching $9.7 billion in 2012, agricultural trade was far from reflecting the existing potential at $400 million, Eker said.
Spanish Minister Cañete said the two societies, which lived on the two ends of the Mediterranean, had remarkable experience in improving agricultural activities and using natural resources.
"The two countries need to share this experience to the benefit of both," Cañete said.
The protocol signed between the two countries involves cooperation in the fields of legislation on agriculture sector, modernization, products and markets, phytosanitary and border controls, veterinary measures, food quality control, animal breeding and welfare systems, renewable energy, energy saving, and rural development.
Spanish Minister Cañete offered his country's condolences to Turkey for the recent attacks on Turkey-Syria border, the deadliest since the beginning of the uprising in Syria in 2011.
"Turkey can trust Spain on all policies it is planning to implement for establishing peace in its region," Cañete said.
The agreement would be testament to both countries' commitment to peace, Cañete said.
Turkish Minister Eker added that Turkey expected Spain's support for the candidacy of Turkish provinces of Antalya and Izmir to host Expo 2016 and 2020 international business fairs, respectively.
After the agreement was signed, Eker presented to Cañete a vase embroidered with an Ottoman tughra, while the Spanish minister reciprocated with a bottle of olive oil.
"Since we are going through an economic crisis right now, we have brought to you the best of our produce," Cañete said.
Eker thanked the Spanish government for its support to Turkey's accession negotiations with the European Union.
"I would like remind that the chapter on food safety opened in 2010 was the last one to be opened to negotiations and this happened during Spanish presidency; so on that note, I'd like to express my gratitude to the Spanish government for its support to Turkey in the accession process," Eker said.
After a freezing of relations during the rotating presidency of the Greek Cypriot administration, Turkey and the European Union continued accession talks with one more chapter, no. 22 on regional policy, planned to be opened to negotiations within the framework of Turkey-France bilateral relations. If agreed, the move will bring the total number of open chapters to 14.
The chapter on agriculture and rural development has remained blocked almost since the beginning of the negotiation process.Last Mod: 15 Mayıs 2013, 16:03