4/11/2008

Turkey hosts Pacific ministers

The Australian - Turkey is working to cement closer ties with Pacific nations by hosting a meeting of regional diplomats in Istanbul. Foreign ministers from Nauru, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia and Samoa, as well as a representative of Tonga's foreign ministry are attending. The Australian Government will be represented by its ambassador to Turkey, Peter Doyle. The meeting runs from until Friday. Counsel at the Turkish Embassy in Wellington, Kemal Eruygur, said his country wanted to develop closer relations with many parts of the world, including the Pacific. Topics to be discussed included development assistance, tourism and climate change, he said. The Pacific, a region traditionally seen as largely under Australia's sphere of influence, has been feted by many countries in recent years.