Issue on releasing convicted Turkish captain to be solved at meeting of Turkish FM & Georgian President
Georgia, Tbilisi, Sept. 7 / Trend , N.Kirtzkhalia/
The issue of releasing the Turkish captain, Mehmet Ozturk, will be solved at tomorrow's meeting of the Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davudoglu, the Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, said at a joint news conference with Davudoglu on Sept. 7.
"Today we have discussed the legal aspects of the case and reached certain agreements. Tomorrow, at the meeting with President Saakashvili, the matter will be resolved," he said, stressing that he had discussed with the range of issues with his Turkish counterpart that will help avoid similar incidents in future.
A court sentenced the captain of the "Buket" tanker, sailing under the Panama flag, Turkish citizen Mehmet Ozturk, to 24 years imprisonment for smuggling in Abkhazia. The crew of the vessel, which included 13 Turkish citizens and 4 Azerbaijanis, were released after paying a fine worth $30,000.
The Turkish Foreign Minister noted that his country is "Georgia's friend and strategic partner" and many of the issues are solved through this relationship. "We must take a number of measures to avoid such problems in the future," he said.