PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI IN TURKEY





President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia came to Ankara on Thursday on a three-day state visit as guest of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe welcomed President Saakashvili and the accompanying delegation at the airport. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and President Saakashvili will hold a joint news conference after holding tete-a-tete talks and presiding meetings between Turkish and Georgian delegations. President Sezer will host a dinner at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in honor of President Saakashvili later in the day. Saakashvili will proceed to Istanbul tomorrow after receiving Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI OF GEORGIA WELCOMED WITH OFFICIAL CEREMONY An official welcoming ceremony has taken place at the Cankaya Presidential Palace for President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia. Speaking at the ceremony, President Sezer said on Thursday, ``Georgia`s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and stability are indispensable factors for peace and prosperity of whole Caucasian region. Therefore, we welcomed efforts to overcome peacefully the tension between Georgia and the autonomous Republic of Adzharia as a result of Georgian government`s attitude of common-sense.`` ``President Saakashvili`s first visit to Turkey will constitute a new and significant circle of regular high-level meetings between Turkey and Georgia. Turkey and Georgia are two friendly countries having close relations with each other. The bilateral relations between our countries have been further improving in all fields since Georgia`s acquiring its independence,`` he emphasized. President Sezer added, ``I believe that President Saakashvili`s visit would make a valuable contribution to efforts aiming to further improve friendly relations between Turkey and Georgia. During the meetings, we will discuss our bilateral relations in detail. Recent developments in the world, bilateral and multilateral issues will also be high on agenda of our meetings.`` Meanwhile, President Saakashvili said in his part that Turkey was the country extending the most support to Georgian people after Georgia`s acquiring its independence. Noting that political, economic and military relations between the two countries had been further improving, Saakashvili said that nothing could prevent those relations. Stressing that solution of the problem with autonomous Republic of Adzharia provided them with new opportunities to develop their relations with Turkey, President Saakashvili said that Turkey`s friendly and positive statements helped them to overcome the problem. President Saakashvili thanked Turkey for its constructive attitude. President Saakashvili added that both Turkey and Georgia targeted to improve their relations with European countries. Acting Parliament Speaker Yilmaz Ates, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe and the other officials were also in attendance at the ceremony. SEZER: IT IS IMPORTANT TO SOLVE ABKHAZIA AND SOUTHERN OSETIA PROBLEMS IN PEACEFUL WAYS`` Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Thursday that Turkey was closely following the problems in Southern Caucasia, adding that it was important to solve Abkhazia and Southern Osetia problems in peaceful ways and within territorial integrity of Georgia. Sezer and President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia held a joint press conference after their tete-a-tete meeting and meetings between Georgian and Turkish delegations. Sezer said that they have taken up bilateral relations with all dimensions in a sincere and friendly atmosphere and also they have evaluated the recent developments and their reflections in the region. Sides have agreed on continuation of relations which were on good level between Georgia and Turkey, said Sezer. Sezer said that Turkey was closely following the problems in Southern Caucasia and added that those problems were continuing to affect negatively the whole Eurasia region. ``Within that scope, it is important to solve Abkhazia and Southern Osetia problems in peaceful ways and within territorial integrity of Georgia in a short time. We believe that solution of these problems will contribute to stability and prosperity of Georgia and the whole Southern Caucasia,`` noted Sezer. Noting that they also discussed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline project and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) natural gas pipeline project in the meetings, Sezer said that Turkey was pleased with close interest and effort of Georgia regarding the implementation of those projects. Sezer expressed belief that the visit would have contribution to further development of bilateral relations between Turkey and Georgia and stability of Southern Caucasia region. SAAKASHVILI: GEORGIA EXPECTS TURKEY`S ASSISTANCE IN INTEGRATION WITH NATO Saakashvili said that he was planning to visit Turkey earlier but his visit was postponed due to internal developments in Georgia. Noting that they have taken up political and military dimensions of bilateral relations in detail during the meeting, Saakashvili said that Georgia was expecting Turkey`s assistance in integration with NATO. Saakashvili said that military cooperation between Turkey and Georgia was perfect. He added that training of Georgian soldiers by Turkish officers in some parts of Georgia was the proof of it. Noting that Georgian interior forces were formed by the support and assistance of Turkey, Saakashvili said that those forces were now in Adzharia and carrying out their mission successfully. He also thanked for Turkey`s constructive attitude in solution of Adzharia problem. Noting that cooperation on economy, communication, transportation and energy between two countries were important, Saakashvili said that they were expecting Turkish investors to make investment in Georgia. He added that they were expecting the contribution of Turkish investors for supporting Georgian economy and development of Adzharia. Saakashvili said that one of the most important projects between two countries was railway project and he added that when the projects were completed, Turkey would open to Central Asia, while Georgia would open to Europe. Touching on energy projects between two countries, Saakashvili noted the importance of implementation of BTC and BTE projects. He said that BTE project was expected to be completed in autumn of 2006. PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI VISITS TURKISH DEPUTY PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ATES President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia visited on Thursday Turkish Deputy Parliament Speaker Yilmaz Ates. Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe accompanied Saakashvili during the visit. No statements were released regarding the meeting. Saakashvili met with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer earlier in the day. President Sezer will host a dinner at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in honor of President Saakashvili later in the day. Saakashvili will proceed to Istanbul tomorrow after receiving Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

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