Italian prime minister arrives in Turkey for two-day visit

Iran Materials 22 January 2007 18:24

(Cihan) - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi arrived in Ankara on Monday to hold talks on bilateral relations and Turkey's EU membership talks.

Prodi was welcomed by State minister and EU accession chief negotiator Ali Babacan at Ankara's Esenboga airport.

During his two-day visit, Prodi will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc to discuss Turkey's EU accession process. Bilateral economic and political relations as well as the Cyprus issue are the other major topics of the top level meetings, reports Trend.

On Tuesday, the Italian premier will attend the inauguration ceremony of a tunnel, constructed by an Italian firm, in the northwestern province of Bolu on the highway connecting capital Ankara and Istanbul. With the opening of the 2.8 km tunnel, the average highway travel time between Istanbul and Ankara is likely to be reduced to only three-and-a-half hours.

Following the inauguration Prodi and Erdogan will attend the 'Italy and Turkey: Strategic Economy Alliance' meeting in Istanbul organized by Italian Embassy and Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) and Turkish businessmen.