2/4/2009

Turkish President’s visit to give Saudi-Turkish ties new impetus

Arab News - Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who begins a visit to Saudi Arabia at the head of a high-level delegation, said his three-day visit is aimed at providing a new impetus for the historic and strong relations between the two Muslim countries. “Turkey and Saudi Arabia are two friendly countries linked together with strong historical, religious, social and cultural ties. We, as the people of the Republic of Turkey, attach great importance to relations with our Saudi brethren” the President said. In a message to the Saudis on the eve of his state visit, Gul commended King Abdullah’s role in strengthening Saudi-Turkish relations. The President expressed his satisfaction over the expanding economic cooperation, with the volume of bilateral trade exceeding USD 5 billion. He hoped that more Saudi businessmen would invest in Turkey, the 15th largest economy in the world. He disclosed plans to establish Turkish trade offices in Riyadh and Jeddah very shortly. The Turkish President, accompanied by more than 90 businessmen, is optimistic that economic relations between the two countries would grow further in the coming years. “We expect Saudi Arabia would make major agricultural investments in Turkey”, Gul said. He expressed his happiness over the increasing number of Saudi tourists visiting Turkey. “In 2008, the number of Saudi tourists visiting our country doubled, compared to the previous year, to more than 70,000” he added. “Turkey provides ample opportunities for students seeking education in various fields. It is possible to receive education in all fields in the 132 universities around the country” the President told the Saudis. He also highlighted the advanced health facilities in Turkey. Meanwhile, the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry said it would hold a meeting with Gul and his delegation in Riyadh to explore prospects of expanding trade and investment cooperation.
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