Turkey to lead region: deputy PM

Turkey to lead region: deputy PM

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey to lead region: deputy PM

Ali Babacan envisages a common economic region from Albania to Kuwait. REUTERS photo

The Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa could be integrated to form a single unified economic environment, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos in a televised interview.

The Turkish government wants to develop its relations with these regions, with which Turkey has historical and cultural relations, he said.

“It is only natural for us to use our powerful connections rooted in history to develop political relations going forward. In fact, we firmly believe that all this geographical area can become a single economic environment. We have a vision where borders loose meaning, people, goods, capital and energy moves comfortably [around the world]. We envisage a common economic region where one can set out from Albania all the way to Kuwait, or where one can set out from Bahrain to Morocco freely, as in the European Union,” he said.

Turkey would be a natural leader in the region, he added.

Speaking on the economic crisis in Europe, Babacan said one of the reasons why the debt crisis could not be managed well was that the decision makers did not remain in office long enough, where as Turkey had a big advantage because it has had an economic team in office for a long time.

Europe had left it rather late to save Greece, but Turkey favored the saving of its neighboring country, rather than “pulling the plug.”