Georgian President holds talks in Ankara
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Georgian President Saakashvili (L) says the meeting with Turkish President Gül is beneficial. He broke his shoulder, suffering multiple shoulder fractures. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met today with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül a day after he suffered multiple shoulder fractures following a bicycle accident.
Saakashvili heaped praise on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and said he was one of the most prominent leaders of the world, not just the region, in the past decade. “From my point of view, there was not such a strong leader globally in Turkey since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk [founder of the modern Turkey],” he said. He emphasized that Turkey had seen a significant improvement and progress in the past few years. Saakashvili added that his talks with both Erdoğan and Gül were beneficial.
Georgia’s key regional ally, Turkey, supports the ex-Soviet republic’s bid to join the NATO. The neighboring Black Sea countries also share economic interests in promoting the transit of Caspian gas to Europe via a pipeline bypassing Russia. Saakashvili is due to step down from his post in October when his second and final presidential term expires.