AA - Giorgio Napolitano, Italy’s President, has reaffirmed his country's support for Turkey's bid to join the EU, saying Turkey's accession will be an added-value for the 27-nation bloc and urging EU leaders to keep their promises. During his formal visit to Turkey, Napolitano appeared at a joint news conference in the Turkish capital of Ankara after his meeting with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
"Italy made a pledge and will keep its pledge", Napolitano told the press, underlining that all the EU states made the same pledge to launch negotiations with Turkey. "We have to pursue the basic principle of adhering to an agreement that we are a signatory to", he noted. "It does not make any sense to act in an obstructive manner."
Commenting on bilateral relations between Turkey and Italy, Napolitano said relations are very good, and pointed out that Italian and Turkish officials will get together at an intergovernmental summit in December. Napolitano added that commercial ties are also strong between Turkey and Italy. He said more than 700 Italian companies are operating in Turkey and called on Turkish and Italian companies to collaborate further.