Turkish PM meets European Council President Rompuy

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 23 Turkey doesn't think about taking part in the EU only for its own gain, at the same time the country also thinks about bringing gains to the EU. So Turkey will not become a burden, on the contrary it will reduce the burden of the EU.»

Erdogan and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy held a joint press conference in the Central Building of the Turkish Prime Ministry in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Erdogan said he was really pleased with Rompuy's first visit to Turkey as the European Council President.

«We talked the current state of the EU and the problems we have. We discussed what Turkey has done and is doing in this process and we wish the next process will be developed in a different way. There are the issues of visa and the Nabucco project which Turkey has insisted on for a long time. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a critical step about the issue so far,» Erdogan stressed.

Stressing that Turkey was a bridge between the 1,5 billion Islamic world and Europe, Erdogan said, «There are currently more than 5 million Turks in the EU, there is already a Turkey. Turkey, at the point of overcoming all the problems, has much to do with the European Union.»

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said «Turkey has not been invited to EU summits since 2004. One way or another, we have to change this situation that has been going on since 2004.»

Reminding that Turkey owed $23.5 billion to IMF in the past, Erdogan said, «But at the moment there is a Turkey which had finished its relationship of debt with the IMF. Turkey paid off the last installment of the debt last Tuesday, and zeroed $23.5 billion.»

Erdogan also said Turkey had currently taken the steps of two nuclear power plants and added:

«We have taken the step of the first. Now we are taking the step of the second. Turkey, while making the preparations for the third, desires providing its energy needs from its own resources.»

After the conference, Erdogan gave a dinner in the honor of Rompuy in Prime Minister's Official Residence.

Adapted from Worldbulletin