(Cihan) - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili arrived in Ankara to seek Turkey's stronger support in their discord with Russia.
Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer welcomed his counterpart with a state ceremony at the Presidential Palace. During the meeting of the two counterparts, Sezer informed Saakashvili on a new project for the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline following the already constructed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, reports Trend.
Sezer said that Turkey supported Georgia's political and territorial integrity and its sovereignty, at the joint press conference held after the meeting. He also expressed his wishes for a peaceful solution of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflict.
Saakashvili informed the press about their efforts for establishing of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
After meeting with Sezer, Saakashvili also met Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Foreign Trade Minister Kursat Tuzmen in Ankara.
The visiting president will visit Istanbul for a one day visit to realize his agenda on bilateral cooperation. In this regard, Saakashvili will meet Turkish businessmen at Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).
The already shaky relations between Georgia and Russia worsened after Saakashvili was elected in 2004. On September 27 this year, four Russian army officers were arrested for allegedly spying. As a result, Russia cut off the postal service to Georgia, deported Georgian citizens from Russia and closed down Georgian workplaces.
The last straw was Russia's increase in gas prices for 109.1 percent. Naturally Georgia denied paying such astronomic prices and Russia cut off the gas supplies. Georgia needs 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas and Turkey is expected to step in.