Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid an official visit to Slovakia October 30. Meeting the head of Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák, he thanked him for Slovakia’s support for his country’s accession to the European Union.
“We are pleased that Slovakia supports us in this direction, and we hope it will continue to do so also in the future,” Davutoglu said as quoted by the SITA newswire. “There wasn’t any reason why the visa requirement should not be cancelled, since our relations are so good.” Turkey abolished the visa requirement for citizens of the Slovak Republic in August this year. Davutoglu symbolically invited all Slovaks to visit Turkey which “is their second home”, as he put it.
Lajčák said that Turkey is a close friend of Slovakia, adding that this year was particularly good for mutual relations of the two countries. As Lajčák recalled, in February Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Slovakia, in summer Prime Minister Robert Fico visited Turkey, and later also President Ivan Gašparovič.
The ministers also discussed Turkey’s relations with the EU. The foreign ministers of EU member states last week announced the renewal of accession negotiations with Turkey.
“We always say that each country’s progress must depend only on its ability to meet the conditions. We are in favour of continuation of the process between Turkey and the EU,” Lajčák said, according to SITA.
“I’m glad that we had an opportunity to discuss issues such as Syria, Iran and Egypt at our meeting today," said Lajčák, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Davutoglu also thanked Lajčák for his support in setting up a memorial plaque dedicated to 51 Turkish soldiers who were killed in World War I.
The two ministers also broached the issue of Cyprus, the Greek part of which forms an EU state, while the Turkish part remains outside. "I believe that we'll eventually arrive at an agreement also in the case of Cyprus," said Davutoglu, adding that Turkey has received an invitation to attend the next Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) meeting in Budapest.
(Source: SITA, TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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