PMs of Turkey, Spain discuss international issues

Spain`s Prime Minister Rajoy attends Turkey`s intergovernmental summit on Tuesday.

Spain`s Prime Minister Rajoy attends Turkey`s intergovernmental summit on Tuesday.

ANKARA - Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Spain`s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy discussed bilateral ties, Turkey`s EU accession and international problems in a meeting held on Tuesday in Ankara.

Erdogan, speaking at a joint press conference with his counterpart, said Spain is a close ally of Turkey.

"The investments of Spanish entrepreneurs in Turkey have reached eight billion euros and there are now 90 Turkish entrepreneurs in Spain," Erdogan said.

The strategic investments between the two countries are substantial, Erdogan added. Thanks to the cooperation between Turkish and Spanish firms, Turkey will build a new warship similar to the Spanish Navy`s biggest vessel.

During the meeting, Erdogan and Rajoy evaluated the resumption of peace talks and a joint declaration by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south regarding efforts to end the drawn-out political dispute on the divided island.

"As a guarantor country, Turkey will support the process to end the dispute," Erdogan stated. He said he also hopes Greece - as a guarantor - will also contribute to the peace process.

Erdogan added that he and Rajoy had also signed an agreement on counter-terrorism cooperation.

In response to a question over the 2010 `Mavi Marmara` incident, Erdogan said that the current embargo against Gaza must be lifted and a finalized protocol signed before relations between the two countries go back to normal.

In May 2010, Israeli soldiers boarded the Mavi Marmara - the lead vessel in a Gaza-bound flotilla - and killed nine Turkish citizens. The incident worsened the relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara.

Rajoy said Turkey and Spain are friendly allies that have several ties.

"Spain has been a member of the EU since 1986. We have always supported Turkey’s EU accession bid," Rajoy said.

He said Turkey is a model for Muslim countries and added that further cooperation between two countries will continue to provide both welfare and security.

The Spanish government’s delegation will accompany Erdogan during the opening ceremony of Ankara’s Batikent-Sincan metro route on Wednesday.

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