Turkish prime minister leaves for New York

Iran Materials 18 December 2006 15:27 (UTC +04:00)

(Cihan) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan headed to the United States in order to attend the Alliance of Civilizations meeting to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York.

PM Erdogan on Sunday visited central Turkish province of Konya to attend some meetings, openings and the ceremonies of the 733rd anniversary of passing of revered Turkish Sufi Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, reports Trend.

In the speech he delivered at the opening of the ceremony, Erdogan stressed that humanism emerged in Anatolia with Mevlana well before it has in the West.

After the ceremony, along with his wife Erdogan visited the Mevlana Museum before he arrived at the airport late on Sunday amid high security measures. PM Erdogan left Konya Ataturk Airport for New York aboard a private jet belonging to PM's Office just after the midnight.

PM Erdogan is set to meet his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the US. Turkish premier is expected to come together with some of the top UN officials as well as part of his contacts in New York.

The final declaration of the Alliance of Civilizations will be unveiled at the meeting; in which the newly appointed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will also attend.