Erdogan: There is Only One Macedonia
Thursday, 29 September 2011

Macedonia has a natural right to use its constitutional name under which it became an independent state. We see the Greek position as unreasonable and unjust. We cannot comprehend any additions such as upper, lower or northern. Everyone knows there is only one Macedonia. We live in a global world where peace and understanding should prevail, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Thursday's joint press conference with Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski.

Erdogan urged for Macedonia's deserved place in NATO and EU, saying that Turkey would continue to support the country in the European and Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Pertaining to Macedonia's efforts for EU membership, the Turkish PM stressed that the country makes swift progress, promotes stability and prosperity, implements its commitments, and that is why it will become part of the EU sooner than Turkey.

The two PMs stressed Macedonia and Turkey do not have any open political issues, close bilateral cooperation will be enhanced, whereas commercial-economic cooperation and exchange will intensify.

PM Gruevski emphasized the excellent bilateral relations, which is best confirmed through the Agreement on Strategic Partnership.

He thanked Turkey for its strong support to Macedonia's NATO accession, as well as the respect of the identity and the constitutional name.

Erdogan said both countries have mutual history and culture, recognized through friendship among people.

Gruevski and Erdogan agreed that economic cooperation and commercial exchange, which amounts to approximately US$ 400 million in 2011, could intensify.

Turkish PM Erdogan, who pays a two-day official visit to Macedonia, is set to meet later today with President Gjorge Ivanov and Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski, as well as DUI leader Ali Ahmeti.

In addition, the PMs' wives Borkica Gruevska and Emine Erdogan will visit children's embassy "Megjasi" in Skopje.


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