Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gül: We Expect the EU to Abide by the Pacta Sunt Servanda Principle

During the joint press conference he held along with President Sarkozy of France, President Gül averred: “Our expectation from the EU is that as part of the principle of the pacta sunt servanda, it must keep the promises it has given to us and that it must furnish an occasion for us to culminate the negotiations process with success.” 

President Abdullah Gül welcomed the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, arriving in Turkey to pay a working visit, with a ceremony at the Çankaya Presidential Palace. The two presidents, after proceeding to hold a bilateral talk, attended the working luncheon. After the luncheon, the President said they had conducted fruitful bilateral and delegational talks.

President Gül, mentioning the 500-year history between the two countries, declared that Turkey cares deeply about its relations with France, underlining its resoluteness to develop and keep these relations strong.


The President further informed the press, saying: “Mr. Sarkozy has paid this visit as the term chairman of the G-20. I shared my thought with him that we expect him to visit Turkey as President of France as well because no French President has done so since 1992. He, in return, evinced his wish to visit our country in this regard.” Turkey and France, he continued, are two countries of both Europe and the Mediterranean, sharing a number of common interests.


Turkish-French relations date back to the alliance between Francis I and Sultan Süleyman the Magnificient and it will continue like this in the future, President Gül proclaimed. “Our bilateral trade volume has reached 12 million Euros. We are sure of the fact that our potential is much greater than this. There are some 2,000 French companies conducting business in Turkey. We believe we can boost our economic relations. We lend our support for the G-20 Summit to be held in Cannes, considering such issues as getting the world economic order back on track. As you know, Turkey launched its negotiation process to be a full member of the EU in 2004. 

Turkey has a state strategy in this regard. Our expectation from the EU is that as part of the principle of the pacta sunt servanda, it must keep the promises it has given to us and it must furnish an occasion for us to culminate the negotiations process with success. Some countries like France and Austria have already decided to hold referenda after this negotiation process ends. We will respect the outcome no matter what the results of these referenda may be. On the other hand, we expect the EU to help this process proceed in a healthily fashion, of which I have shared with Mr. Sarkozy and which is the expectation of the Turkish nation as well.”

Informing the press members that they had also tackled the recent events in the Middle East, President Gül reiterated Turkey’s wish that the region be provided with peace, that democracy, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms dominate the region and that this transition process for change end without entailing chaos.

As for President Sarkozy, he expressed his pleasure to be the first French President to visit to Turkey in 19 years. He also noted that he decided to pay this visit to Turkey as he is aware of Turkey’s role in the international arena and the importance of Turkey’s support for France during the latter’s term chairmanship of the G-20. President Sarkozy further promised to pay an official state visit to Turkey, responding to President Gül’s invitation.


The French President later revealed his hope that a study seminar on the regulation of the raw material prices could be held under the co-chair of Turkey and France in April in Turkey. He further advanced France’s full support for Turkey in the latter’s fight against terrorism.


They have one issue on which both Turkey and France do not agree, the French President noted. “We have discussed this very issue as statesmen as well and tried to understand each other’s bottom lines to find a path for the future. We agreed there should be an appropriate way, lest any hindrance is laid in front of the Turkish nation and lead to the destabilization of Europe. We can have different viewpoints; on the other hand, we have close and amicable relations. We will keep teaming up with each other and searching for ways for the best possible future.”