Swedish Foreign Minister Awarded With Tusiad's Foreign Policy Award

ANKARA - Turkish Industrialists` and Businessmen`s Association (TUSIAD) gave its foreign policy award to Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt in Ankara on Friday.

TUSIAD`S fifth foreign policy award was given to Bildt for the year 2007.

Addressing the award ceremony, Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin said Bildt made important contributions to Turkey`s accession process to the EU. "Bildt also endeavored for better promotion of Turkey in international arena during the international conferences, at talks with his counterparts, and in the articles he wrote," he added.

Aydin said Turkish people would always appreciate Bildt`s assistance, stance and understanding.

Separately, TUSIAD Chairperson Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag said a rich, secular and democratic Turkey would be a leading country not only for the Islamic world but also for its neighbors.

Yalcindag said TUSIAD`s foreign policy award is given to individuals or institutions contributing to development of cooperation, mutual understanding and common values in the process of Turkey`s integration with the European Union.

Bildt expressed his support to reform process in Turkey, noting that Turkey was an important country of southern Europe having a 100 million population. He said Turkey, being a dynamic country, would add vitality, energy and new perspectives to Europe.

The previous recipients of this award were Germany`s former EU Ambassador Dietrich von Kyaw in 2003, the head of the French Institute of International Relations Thierry de Montbrial in 2004, former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw in 2005, and EU Vice-President Gunter Verheugen in 2006.

(AY)

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