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Turkish press hail Chinese Premier's visit as "milestone"
2010/10/10

ANKARA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Turkish press on Saturday hailed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Turkey as a "milestone" in bilateral relations.

Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman released a story said Turkey and China "turn a new page" in ties through strategic partnership. The two countries located on the opposite edges of Asia "took a landmark step" on Friday by deciding to upgrade their ties to strategic cooperative relationship, it said.

"Turkey wants to intensify cooperation within the G-20, which includes both Turkey and China as well as 18 other rich and emerging economies, to tackle financial instability, economic slumps and job losses," said the report.

In another story citing a statement by the Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan, the newspaper said the eight agreements signed by Turkey and China on economic and cultural cooperation on Friday will contribute greatly to increasing bilateral trade volume.

"The deals will be a huge step in boosting the trade relations, especially benefitting Turkey's sales to China," the report quoted Caglayan as saying.

During his visit to Ankara on Friday, Wen had talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and announced the two countries will establish strategic cooperative relations and increase their annual trade volume to 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

After Wen's talks, China and Turkey signed eight agreements on cooperation in such fields as trade, transport, infrastructure, communications and cultural exchanges.

Though the trade balance between the two countries heavily favors China, Turkish exports to China increased 62.8 percent year- on-year in the first eight months of 2010 while Turkish imports from China increased 37.9 percent year-on-year, said Hurriyet, another major newspaper in Turkey.

Quoting Erdogan, the report said the move to establish strategic cooperative relations with China would be an important step following Ankara's policy of turning bilateral relations into strategic cooperation with both Russia and Iran.

The semi-official Anatolia news agency, the state TRT television station and other major Turkish media closely followed Wen's visit, focusing on the establishment of strategic cooperative relations, the goal of increasing trave volume and the two countries' plan to use their own currencies in bilateral trade.

Wen arrived in Ankara on Thursday night for the last leg of his four-nation tour which had already taken him to Greece, Belgium and Italy. He proceeded to Istanbul on Friday and met Turkish President Abdullah Gul there.

Wen left Istanbul for China on Saturday.

 
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