Turkish president visits Latvia, hails ties

Turkish president visits Latvia, hails ties

RIGA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish president visits Latvia, hails ties

Latvia's President Andris Berzins and Turkish President Abdullah Gul (L) during their press conference after meeting in Riga, Latvia 2 April 2013. AA Photo

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has met with his Latvian counterpart, Andris Berzins, in the capital of Riga, as part of a diplomatic visit, hailing Turkish-Latvian relations. Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış accompanied Gül on the visit.

The Turkish president said bilateral relations between the two countries started at 1925 and that Turkey never recognized the occupation and annexation decisions, referring to the Soviet era.

“Turkey has always recognized Latvia as an independent state. Our relations developed strongly after 1991 as well, and we have always supported Latvia to be a part of European and Atlantic organizations,” he said.

Latvia and Turkey were two ally countries in NATO and they participate and work together in NATO projects, Gül said.

Gül added that he and Bağış had informed Latvia about Turkey’s EU process and the current situation in relations with the EU.

Latvia, as an EU member, attends many meetings Turkey does not participate in, Gül said. “We wanted Latvia to express our argument in those meetings.”

Berzins said his country supported the accession of Turkey to the European Union.

“Latvia fully supports Turkey’s EU membership because we think your country’s aim to become one of the world’s biggest 10 economies is very important for Latvia as well as the EU,” he said.

The two countries signed a cooperation act in the domains of transportation and logistics.