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Italy-Turkey: Minister Gentiloni in Ankara since Thursday for institutional meetings

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni travelled to Turkey yesterday, on his first visit following the failed coup of 15 July.

“My visit offered the opportunity to strongly reiterate Italy’s solidarity to the government and people of Turkey following the failed coup of 15 July, in the hope that the institutions might go back to functioning normally as quickly as possible,” said Minister Gentiloni.   

The scope of bilateral economic relations is the focus of the mission. Mr Gentiloni recalled: “Italy has important long-standing relations with Turkey. We are proud to be Turkey’s fourth-largest trade partner, and the second in the European Union. In Turkey there are 13,000 Italian-owned companies employing tens of thousands of people and not only big corporations like Astaldi and Unicredit, but also a host of small and medium-sized enterprises.”

The mission was also an opportunity to take stock of the major regional crisis scenarios (Libya and Syria), of the actions undertaken to fight Daesh and to highlight the importance of the strategic cooperation with Turkey in fighting Daesh. Focus was also placed on Iraq where, the Minister said, “it is in everybody’s interest to contribute to fighting Daesh but this cannot be done against the Baghdad government.”

Minister Gentiloni’s visit coincides with a phase in which the dialogue with Ankara is being consolidated and follows up on the meeting in Rome between Minister Carlo Calenda and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, and also on the presence of Undersecretary of State for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Umberto Del Basso De Caro at the inauguration of the third bridge over the Bosphorus built by Italian construction company Astaldi.

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