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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-19

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>


[01] AA News

19 April 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on April 19, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

EFES PILSEN LOST BUT FRIENDSHIP GAINED
Efes Pilsen, a Turkish basketball team which had qualified to the Final Four in European Basketball League for the first time, was defeated by Greek Panathinaikos by 81-71 in Salonica. But, the people who watched the match, clapped the banners of friendship which were opened by the Turkish fans. Efes Pilsen will play for the bronze medal today.

IMF: ''YOU CAN BE AN EXAMPLE''
Stanley Fischer, the Acting Chairman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that Turkey started to get the positive results of the economic program and that it will continue to get positive results. Fischer also said that this economic program can be an example for the other countries in case Turkey continues to implement it.

WOLFENSOHN: ''I AM COMING IN MAY''
James Wolfensohn, the Governor of the World Bank, said that he supports Turkey's economic program and that to this end, he will visit Turkey in May. Wolfensohn also said that Turkey takes determined structural measures and that it should continue to take measures. His visit to Turkey in May is the indicator of his interest in Turkey, Wolfensohn added.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

PROF. ISIKARA:''TURKEY CAN BE HIT BY AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 6.3 OR HIGHER
EVERY YEAR''
Ahmet Mete Isikara said Turkey can be hit by an earthquake measuring 6.3 or higher by Richter scale every year. At a conference in Adana, Isikara said Turkey was on an earthquake zone and the possibility of an earthquake was 63 percent every year. ''It is possible to protect ourselves against earthquakes only through education and by building good buildings,'' Isikara said.

INTERIOR MINISTRY TO PAY TRIGON COMPANY OVER 28,000 U.S. DOLLARS
While the trial continues about the weapons secretly imported by Batman Governor's Office, the U.S. Trigon company won the case against the Interior Ministry. The Prosecutor's Office decided that the Interior Ministry will pay Trigon for 2,000 cartridges which cost 28,607 U.S. dollars.

The U.S. company Trigon had sued the Interior Ministry after Batman Governor's Office failed to pay its debt after receiving the weapons.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

BAHCELI: ''I AM ALSO THINKING OF TWO NAMES''
Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said that he is also thinking of two names for presidency. Bahceli noted that one of these nominees was from the parliament and the other was out of the parliament. When asked whether or not the nominees in his mind can be the nominees in Premier Bulent Ecevit's mind, Bahceli said, ''I cannot know. He has not told me and I have not told him.''

BAHCELI PROPOSES ECEVIT: ''LET YOU BECOME THE NEW PRESIDENT''
Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), made a proposal to Premier Bulent Ecevit. Bahceli said, ''let's amend the constitution, let's annul the university graduate condition which is obligatory for becoming a president, and you run your candidacy for presidency.'' Ecevit refused this gesture. An aide of Bahceli told Sabah that if Ecevit had accepted this proposal, Turkey would not face a problem resulting from presidential elections.

20 MILLION NEW SUBSCRIBERS TO CELL PHONES
Telecom Italia, the partner of Is Bankasi in the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) 1800 tender, believes that the number of of people using cell phones will increase 20 million in five years. The Telecom Italia said that 11 percent of Turkey's population is using cell phones at the moment and that it expects that this rate will increase to 50 percent in five years. The Telecom Italia added that this increase means 20 million new subscribers.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

FOREIGN SUPPORT TO FUNDAMENTALISM
The U.S., Syria, Germany and Saudi Arabia support the sects for their desires. Map of the countries, supporting fundamentalist groups who are against regime, was drawn. Intelligence units determined that most of the sects, communities and their branches got their support from outside.

PROTECTED GALATASARAY DUE TO LEEDS
Galatasaray soccer team which is Turkey's representative in UEFA Cup semifinal second leg, will go to Britain today. A total of 11 body guards, provided by Interior Ministry, will accompany Galatasaray. British, Dutch and German hooligans threatened Turkish spectators, who will watch the re- match, through internet. Their messages said, ''Turks will see the hell. Turkish blood will be shed this summer.''

BAHCELI TO PROPOSE TWO NAMES IN THE SUMMIT
Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said they did not have a condition that president would be from their party. Pointing out that they should not act in sensitivity, Bahceli said, ''we should not consider the view that Prime Minister is from DSP, Parliament Speaker is from ANAP, then, President should be from MHP.'' It was reported that Bahceli determined two names, one from the Parliament, the other one from outside the parliament.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

WHAT IS ECEVIT AFTER
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who gave up efforts to find a ''common name, '' amazed the opposition and his friends. It was claimed that Ecevit tries to prevent candidacy of Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP). Ecevit, who was looking for a ''common name,'' suddenly changed strategy. Ecevit's method, which based on the time, and which was also supported by Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of MHP, makes it difficult for ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz to make a decision. Probably, there will be 20 applications in the last date of the candidacy period.

IMF SHOWS TURKEY AS THE EXAMPLE
Stanley Fisher, Acting Chairman of International Monetary Fund (IMF), said positive results of the economic program which Turkey implemented, began to be obtained. Fisher, in all speeches he made in the recent two weeks, praised the program Turkey implemented. Speaking at IMF-World Bank semi annual meetings in Washington D.C., said, if Turkey continues to carry out this economic program aiming at reducing inflation, this program could be an example to other countries.

YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

TURKPORT TO GIVE INTERNET GUIDE SERVICE IN TURKISH
Turkport General Manager Omer Erginsoy announced that they will start giving a wide internet guide service with search in Turkish language. Erginsoy said they open more than 200,000 webpages everyday and they have 65,000 registered users. Turkport, which opened 75 days ago, offers to its users news, features, sports news, city guide, chat and message boards, festival pages, free e-mail service and a wide internet guide. Erginsoy said they are targeting 500,000 registered users.

TARGETED ANNUAL FIGURES IN ECONOMY ALREADY GUARANTEED
The income obtained from privatization which exceeded the targeted amount, the drop in the inflation rate and the recovering economy have not yet had any effects on the budget. However, the budget figures in the first three months of this year already exceeded the targeted amounts. It is almost guaranteed that Turkey will reach the targeted annual figures at the end of the year.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

IS YILMAZ A CANDIDATE?
As Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), keeps his silence, he carefully covers the developments. It seems that Yilmaz will make his decision after making several other secret contacts and observations.

CILLER TO MEET WITH PRIME MINISTER TODAY
Tansu Ciller, leader of the True Path Party (DYP), will meet with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at 15:00 local time on Wednesday. She is expected to convey the views of her party regarding presidential elections.

GERMAN MINISTER: TURKEY IS THE MOST SECURE COUNTRY
Beckstein, Interior Minister of Baveria, called on his citizens and said Turkey was the most secure country in the Mediterranean. He also called on his people to pass their holiday in Turkey.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

TURKEY SIGNS AGREEMENT TO SELL 211 ARMED VEHICLES TO MALAYSIA
Turkey will sell 211 armed vehicles to Malaysia which is worth of 300 million U.S. dollars according to the agreement signed between two sides. It was stated that the purchase was the highest export figure of the Turkish arms industry.

[03] EXPORTATION OF DRIED APRICOTS FROM THE SOUTHEAST

GAZIANTEP - A total of 5,446 tonnes of dried apricots was exported from the Southeastern Anatolia Region in the first three months of this year.

In the same period of last year, 4,332 tonnes of dried apricots was exported in return for 8.820 million U.S. dollars.

According to the data of Southeastern Anatolia Exporters Unions, exportation of dried apricots in January-March 2000 period was mainly made to the U.S. France, Britain, Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Germany, Israel, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Greece.

[04] CHINA DAILY PUBLISHES INTERVIEW WITH DEMIREL

BEIJING - President Suleyman Demirel said that Asia will benefit from Turkey-China relations in an interview with China Daily, an English language daily published in China.

Demirel said, if Turkey and China worked together, peace and living conditions on two sides of Asia would improve.

He also noted that Turkey and China will carry out a joint struggle against cross borders terrorism, drugs smuggling and organized crime.

Demirel also suggested reopening of the historical Silk Road to develop commercial and cultural contacts.

Chinese press, television and radio channels are giving wide coverage to Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to Turkey. Chinese International Radio's Turkish department is broadcasting special programmes over Chinese- Turkish relations throughout the history as well as today.

[05] STATE MINISTER ONAL: - ''TURKEY'S RATING NOTE WILL INCREASE THIS SUMMER''

NEW YORK - Recep Onal, the State Minister, said on Wednesday that Turkey's rating note will increase this summer.

Following the speech he made in the annual meeting of the United Nations (U.N.) Economic and Social Council, Onal told reporters that the real target of the economic program is to increase Turkey's rating.

Onal continued, ''international organizations like Moody's and Standard &amp; Poors will visit Turkey in June and hold contacts. Probably, they will increase Turkey's rating note this summer. In fact, Turkey's rating note has actually increased at the moment.''

The indicators of this actual increase are finding debts from international markets with 30-year maturity and the decrease of loan interests from 20 percent to 10 percent, Onal noted.

Onal stated that he thinks that the employment opportunities will increase in three years and Turkey will not have to knock on the door of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) then.

The World Bank, IMF and the U.S. appreciate Turkey's economic program, Onal stressed.

Onal emphasized that the three-year privatization target is 18 billion U.S. dollars and that Turkey has met one-third of the privatization target of 2000 at the moment which is equivalent to 7.6 billion U.S. dollars.

The total of the loan committed by the World Bank and the IMF is 9.25 billion U.S. dollars, Onal said.

Onal continued, ''the World Bank allocated 3 billion U.S. dollars at the beginning. Later, it gave 2.25 billion U.S. dollar additional source. When the 4 billion U.S. dollar loan granted by the IMF is added, the total amount reaches 9.25 billion U.S. dollars. The interest of this loan is in the level of London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).''

They target at increasing the welfare of people and reaching European Union (EU) standards, Onal noted.

Onal stated that some of the tendencies in Washington D.C. meetings can be considered as negative for Turkey in the future.

IMF tends to withdraw from assisting countries, the national income per capita of which is more than 4,000 U.S. dollars, Onal stressed.

Onal emphasized that Turkey's national income per capita is rapidly increasing to 4,000 U.S. dollars.

Onal will leave for Turkey on Wednesday evening.

[06] ANZACS BRINGING AID FOR QUAKE SURVIVORS

NEW YORK - Australians who will visit Gelibolu on April 25 to attend the 85th anniversary of Anzac Landing ceremonies are also bringing with them aid equipment for quake survivors.

Australians set sail from their country on a ''peace ship'' and each person is bringing with her five kilos of school equipment, toys, clothing and various home equipment.

The tour is organized by Kompas Holidays and Airlines Ambassadors companies. Ten representatives from the two companies will meet the Australian people in Istanbul and distribute the aid equipment to quake survivors.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard will also visit Turkey for the ceremonies.

[07] CHINESE HEAD OF STATE JIANG ZEMIN VISITS ATATURK'S MAUSOLEUM

ANKARA - Chinese Head of State Jiang Zemin who is currently in Ankara visited Ataturk's mausoleum on Wednesday.

After laying a wreath at Ataturk's mausoleum, Jiang Zemin observed a minute of silence. Later, he signed the special book of the mausoleum.

Jiang Zemin was accompanied by State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, Ankara Governor Yahya Gur, Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek, and Ankara Garrison Commander Erol Tutal while he toured the museum in the mausoleum.

Tight security measures were taken during Jiang Zemin's visit to Ataturk's mausoleum.

[08] NSC TO CONVENE ON APRIL 28 - PRESIDENT DEMIREL TO LEAD NSC FOR THE LAST TIME

ANKARA - National Security Council (NSC) will convene on April 28 under the leadership of President Suleyman Demirel.

Regular meeting of NSC in April will start at 15:00 local time.

This will be the last meeting which President Demirel will lead as Demirel's term in office expires on May 16.

President Demirel is expected to bid farewell in this meeting of NSC on April 28.

This NSC meeting will be the 83rd meeting which President Demirel led, who started his term in office on May 16, 1993.

[09] OFFICIAL CEREMONY HELD FOR CHINESE PRESIDENT ZEMIN (1)

ANKARA - An official welcoming ceremony was held at the Presidential Palace in Cankaya district on Wednesday for Jiang Zemin, the Chinese President who is paying a visit to Turkey upon the invitation of President Suleyman Demirel.

Speaking at the ceremony, Demirel said that China is one of the most important global actors of the 21st century with its history, civilization, manpower, and economic sources.

Demirel noted that Turkey attributes importance to its relations with China and that the relations between Turkey and China go back to history.

''Our countries, which are two giant civilizations in both sides of Asia, are the element of stability, balance, and welfare in their region. Our countries have significant cooperation opportunities in utilizing the new opportunities offered by the global economy,'' Demirel said.

Demirel stated that two nations feel close to each other due to the good neighbourly relations and similar cultural values and that the friendly relations between two countries depend on mutual respect and trust.

Demirel thanked Jiang Zemin for China's assistance following the devastating Marmara quake.

The bilateral relations will be discussed and the fields to improve cooperation will be determined during the meetings, Demirel stressed.

Demirel continued, ''we will exchange ideas about the regional and international issues which concern two countries, especially the establishment of lasting peace, stability, and welfare of the Eurosia.''

The economic and commercial relations between two countries are below the real potential, Demirel emphasized.

Demirel said that he believes that these relations can improve with a new partnership understanding.

The Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting which will be held in parallel with Jiang Zemin's visit, will be an indicator for the improvement of the relations, Demirel noted.

Demirel recalled that Jiang Zemin and the accompanying delegation will meet with the businessmen within the framework of their schedule in Istanbul.

These contacts will be important opportunities for both Turkish and Chinese businessmen, Demirel added.

(To be continued)

[10] IMF-WORLD BANK SPRING TERM MEETINGS

WASHINGTON D.C. - Pedro Solbes Mira, European Union (EU) Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner, said Turkey was one of the most powerful countries due to economic means among the candidates who want to become EU member.

Mira, who arrived in Washington D.C. to attend International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring Term Meetings, pointed out that they regarded Turkish economy as positive, and noted that views of IMF and World Bank were important for the EU.

Solbes, who is responsible for economies of the candidate countries, told A.A correspondent that they closely cover the developments in Turkish economy.

Pointing out that Turkey arranged stand-by with the IMF, and took structural measures, Solbes said the decisions, which should be taken in economy, should be taken without making concession.

Solbes said in case Turkey implements macro-economic measures in a determined way, it would get required financial aid.

Mira has a determining position on financial aid that will be extended to candidate countries.

[11] GS TO PLAY ITS 138TH MATCH IN EUROPEAN CUPS

ISTANBUL - Galatasaray (GS) football team will play its 138th match in the European Cups on Thursday.

Galatasaray will play a return match with AFC Leeds United of Britain in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

Galatasaray has won 51 of 137 matches, lost 55 matches and drawn with its rivals in 31 matches.

The Galatasaray footballers has scored 177 goals while it has given away 217 goals in its matches.

Galatasaray has played 27 matches in the UEFA Cup.

It has won 10 of these matches, lost 10 and drawn with its rivals in 7 matches.

Galatarasay defeated FC Bologno of Italy, BV Borussia Dortmund of Germany and Real Mallorca of Spain this season.

The results of its matches with the above mentioned teams are listed below:

Teams First Match Second Match

----- ----------- ------------
GS-FC Bologna 1-1 2-1

GS-BV Broussia Dortmund 2-0 0-0

GS-Real Mallorca 4-1 2-1

[12] PREMIER ECEVIT RECEIVES CHILDREN OF 34 COUNTRIES

ANKARA -Premier Bulent Ecevit received on Wednesday children of 34 countries who came to Turkey for the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day.

Ecevit said that Turkey was the first country which accepted Children's Day.

Ataturk, the Founder of Modern Turkish Republic, indicated the value and importance he attributes to children by presenting the opening day of the parliament to the Turkish and world children, as a gift, Ecevit noted.

Turkey is honoured to celebrate this day with the children of world countries, Ecevit stated.

Ecevit added, ''friendship established among the children of different nations, is the guarantee of the world peace.''

[13] TURKISH EXPORT PRODUCTS FAIR TO BE HELD IN SHANGAI IN OCTOBER

ANKARA - A Turkish Export Products Fair will be held in Shangai, China, between October 26 and 29, 2000.

The Forum Fair said on Wednesday that Forum and Ladin organization companies will organize the Turkish Export Products Fair in Shangai.

Many Turkish companies are expected to participate in the fair, and the automotive, food, other consumption products, electrical home devices, high- quality textile and ready-made clothes are planned to be exhibited in the fair, the Forum Fair added.

[14] TURKISH-GREEK COOPERATION FAIR TO OPEN IN ATHENS

ANKARA -Turkish-Greek Cooperation Fair aimed to develop economic and commercial relations between the two countries will start on April 20 in Athens.

Ninety Turkish companies are participating in the fair. Turkey Contractors Union (TMB) will also participate with a stand in the fair which is the first Turkish exports products fair organized in Athens.

TMB General Secretary Yilmaz Gurer said they are taking part in the fair to develop Turkish-Greek cooperation in their sector.

[15] OFFICIAL CEREMONY HELD FOR CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN (2)

ANKARA - Jiang Zemin, Chinese Head of State, who is currently in Turkey upon the invitation of President Suleyman Demirel, said on Wednesday that they would look for new fields of cooperation toward the new century.

Speaking at the official welcoming ceremony, Jiang Zemin said he was pleased to be in Turkey.

Jiang Zemin said there were traditional friendship relations between Turkey and China, and noted that Silk Road connected the two civilizations in the past. He said relations between the two countries improved with bilateral visits which began after the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Jiang Zemin said he will exchange views with Turkish officials during his stay, and noted that they will evaluate existing cooperation and will look for new fields of cooperation.

Tete-a-tete meeting of the two leaders started following the ceremony.

[16] TURKEY-CHINA JEC MEETING - STATE MINISTER CAY ASKS CHINESE SIDE TO INTENSIFY EFFORTS TO BUY MORE GOODS FROM TURKEY

ANKARA - State Minister Abdulhaluk Cay asked China to intensify efforts to purchase more Turkish goods from the list which was formed during the Turkey-China Joint Economic Commission (KEK) meeting on Wednesday.

Turkey-China JEC 13th Term Meeting was held at the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat. State Minister Abdulhaluk Cay and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi headed the delegations.

At the meeting Cay said the trade volume between the two countries increased dramatically in the last 12 years. The trade volume which was 33.5 million U.S. dollars in 1988 rose to 931.5 million U.S. dollars in 1999, he noted.

However, said Cay, Turkey's export to China dropped by 4.7 percent in 1999 compared to 1998 while China's export to Turkey rose by 5.7 percent in the same year.

China exports a limited number of goods but imports various products, Cay explained. A memorandum of understanding signed on April 24, 1998 between Turkey and China aims to increase Turkey's export to China to 250 million U.S. dollars in 1999, encourage investors to invest in each others' countries, facilitate conditions for Turkish construction firms which participate in tenders in China, and encourage joint investments in third countries.

Cay said although the figures targeted in 1999 were not reached, he hoped important steps would be taken over the issue in 2000 and asked China to intensify efforts to buy more goods from Turkey.

He also noted that a visit by the Chinese purchasing delegation to Turkey might be helpful on this matter.

Active participation in the fairs and exhibitions is important, Cay said and stressed that the two countries can cooperate in energy, transportation and contracting fields.

Wu Yi who also spoke at the meeting said China attributed great importance to economic relations with Turkey.

Wu Yi added that his country wants to buy goods from Turkey but noted that these goods must be suitable for the Chinese market and competition conditions.

[17] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ADDRESSES DSP GROUP MEETING (1)

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who also acts as the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Wednesday that he wanted a parliamentarian to be elected as president.

''There may be difficulty in election of president from the parliament. In that case, it will be useful to keep the door open for candidates outside the parliament,'' Ecevit told in his party group meeting.

Pointing out that parliament was getting ready to elect the new president, which is a difficult task, Ecevit said, ''if our proposal for an amendment related to the Article 101 of the Constitution had been adopted, maybe our duty would not have been so difficult.''

Ecevit said the parliament recorded success in its 21st Period, adding that he believed that the parliament will also successfully fulfil this new mission. The parliament has showed compromise regarding many issues, said Ecevit and pointed out that ''maybe it is not easy to reach a compromise between parties or within parties regarding the presidential election. However, these difficulties can be overcome by a softer approach and discourse. All the parties have attributed importance to that till now. The presidential election is a task which is beyond political parties because under the Constitution, the president is the head of the state, who represents the unity of the nation and monitors whether or not the state organs function in a harmonious way. Deputies should not take into consideration the party interests while casting their votes.''

''The political balances depend on every sensitive basis recently and due to that there may arise a difficulty in electing a president from the parliament, but I wish a deputy can be elected as the president. There are many deputies in the parliament who can fulfil this mission very sucessfully,'' said Premier Ecevit.

Ecevit also wished success for Galatasaray which will have a rematch with Leeds United on Thursday.

[18] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ADDRESSES DSP GROUP MEETING (2)

ANKARA - Democratic Left Party (DSP leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that the first condition of pulling down the inflation rate is to believe that Turkey can succeed to do so, and added ''if we fail to pull down the inflation rate, our EU membership process will not proceed as smooth as it should do.''

At the DSP Parliamentary Group meeting, a cinevision show introducing the ''Turkey Defeating Inflation'' Campaign, a project launched by the The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), was screened.

Ecevit expressed gratitude to the TOBB and TIM on behalf of his Parliamentary Group and himself.

Ecevit said that it was impossible to ovcercome inflation by depending solely on the state and the government, and pointed out that this was a fight that required the determination and power of the employers and employees as well.

He pointed out that the first positive results of this fight had already started coming out, and that they would continue to come one after the other so long as the government and Turkish people worked hand in hand to overcome this enemy.

[19] ICELANDER FM ASGRIMSSON MEETS WITH FM CEM

ANKARA - Halldor Asgrimsson, the Icelander Foreign Minister and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem signed on Wednesday the memorandum of understanding regarding the formation of political consultation mechanism between the two countries.

The guest foreign minister, who is in Ankara for an official visit, met with Foreign Minister Cem the same day.

''Memorandum of Understanding on Foundation of Political Consultations Mechanism'' is the first official document signed between Turkey and Iceland which haven't set up bilateral relations till today.

Foreign Minister Cem said that this is the first official contact held between the foreign ministries of the two countries, adding he is pleased to see the Icelander Foreign Minister in Turkey.

Cem reminded reporters that Turkey and Iceland are the NATO countries, yet they have not set up relations at the bilateral level up to now.

Cem said that NATO still keeps its importance in protecting the world stability, adding there are efforts launched in Europe to form a new security identity and this makes more important the formation of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Icelander Foreign Minister Asgrimsson said in his part that this is the first time an Icelander foreign minister officially came to Turkey.

Noting that Iceland is a founding member of NATO which didn't apply to the European Union (EU) for membership, Asgrimsson said that the two countries have common points regarding the European Security and Defense Iniative (ESDI).
The interdelegationary meetings headed by Cem and Asgrimsson will continue during luncheon.

The guest foreign minister will later be received by President Suleyman Demirel.

[20] COMMANDERS OF BLACK SEA COUNTRIES' NAVAL FORCES MEET IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - The third meeting of the ''Black Sea Naval Forces' Commanders'', hosted by the Turkish naval Forces started on Wednesday at Istanbul's Harbiye Military Museum and Culture Hall with the participation of the commanders of the naval forces of the Black Sea countries.

Speaking at the inauguration, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Ilhami Erdil said that the commanders of the Bulgarian, Romanian, and Ukranian naval forces, First Vice Commander of Georgian Naval Forces, and Russia's Black Sea Fleet Commander were participating in the meeting, and said:

''The 'BLACKSEAFOR' project, which stands for 'Black Sea Cooperation Mission Force' will soon be translated into life. Our command attaches great importance to this initiative, for we believe that it carried great importance from the standpoint of peace, stability and cooperation among the Black Sea countries.''

[21] A.A


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