At a joint press conference with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul held yesterday in Ankara, President Traian Basescu said Romania backs Turkey’s accession to the European Union without reservations, pointing out that our country has a particular interest in this respect, Agerpres reports. “I have assured Mr. Gul that Romania vows unreserved support for the success of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and we believe that the time is ripe for this process to be speeded up. (…) We want the Balkans, Turkey, and Black Sea riparian states to become EU member states; we want us to have the same values and interests in the region,” Basescu said. He reiterated Romania’s position within the European Council, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union. “In addition, I can tell you that we also support the opening of as many negotiation chapters as possible within the EU, and there is one more important objective for both us and Turkey too – to conclude negotiations,’ the Romanian President said. In his opinion, there are various positions of the EU member states on Turkey’s accession to the EU, but “before a final position is reached, the negotiation talks must come to an end.”
In turn, Turkish President Abdullah Gul thanked Romania for the support granted in his country’s accession process to the EU. “We hope Romania will continue to show its support from now on,” the Turkish president said. Abdullah Gul remarked that both political and security relations between the two countries “are on an exceptional level.” “Economic and commercial relations are extremely important,” the leader in Ankara underlined, adding that Romania is Turkey’s “most important Balkan economic partner.”
We hope to see bilateral trade at usd 10 billion USD
On the other hand, Traian Basescu said that the volume of trade between Romania and Turkey stands at five billion dollars, and he expressed hope that it will reach 10 billion dollars.
“Thank you for your invitation to visit Turkey. I maintain that I was not only honored, but also pleased to be in Ankara again or anywhere in Turkey. My visit has a single purpose – to consolidate and develop bilateral relations. We have excellent political and economic relations, and their development is, I think, equally important for both countries,” the President said. He pointed out that Romania and Turkey are located on the southeastern flank of NATO, and they are developing missile defense systems together to protect Europe. “In the last years, a remarkable consolidation of the relations between Romania and Turkey has been achieved by cooperating in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation in fighting against these threats to the national security of Turkey and Romania,” President Basescu stressed. The President mentioned that he has also discussed with his Turkish counterpart about the cooperation potential with regard to technical staff training and the maintenance of F16 aircrafts to be commissioned to the Romanian Air Force.
On the other hand president Basescu pointed out that Romania shows interest in the participation of Turkish companies in motorway construction works, as well as in other fields.
‘There is a Turkish company that has launched an investment in Romania, I do not disclose its name, it is a glass manufacturer, and it has received from the Romanian government a state aid to produce glass in Romania. Having this example as a starting point, I want you to understand that Romania is interested in Turkish companies engaging in the construction projects to be launched from the next EU budget, namely motorway constructions,’ President Basescu said at a joint press conference with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul.
Basescu said that Romania is also interested in the presence of Turkish companies in the food industry to tap into the agricultural production, arguing there is not enough processing capacity for the agricultural production, as well as in tourism and in energy, both concerning the privatization process of small hydro-power and thermal power plants and capitalizing on the electric energy or investment in wind energy projects.
‘We are particularly interested in – and this is the same signal I will give tomorrow – the participation of joint ventures in the markets of Central Asia – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Turkmenistan. These are areas where we can step in together on other markets, considering the presence of the Turkish investors and companies in Romania,’ Traian Basescu said.
Traian Basescu arrived in Ankara early yesterday. On the first day of this official visit, he is scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, and representatives of the Romanian community, and discuss with Cemil Çiçek, chairman of the Great National Gathering. On the following day, President Basescu will take part in the Romanian and Turkish Economic Forum on Investments and Trade and visit the Production Platform of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). He is also expected to visit the National Center for Pilot Training Simulation on F-16 fighter jets.