Queen in Ankara, declares Turkey is unique bridge between East and West (video)

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain visiting Turkey told a banquest in Ankara Tuesday night that Turkey has become a unique bridge between the East and the West at a crucial time for both the EU and the world.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul hosted the banquet at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in honor of the Queen, reported New Anatolian.

Addressing the banquest the Queen said she was quite happy for being in Turkey again, after her last visit in 1971.

The Queen said the ties between Turkey and the United Kingdom were stronger than ever in this new century.

She also said that Turkey played a key role in promoting peace, political stability and economic development in some of the world's most unsettled areas.

President Gul also speaking on the visit of the Queen said Britain has been one of the staunchest supporters of Turkey in its progress towards the EU membership.

"Turkey is grateful for your unhesitant and continuous support," President Gul said speaking at the banquet.

"This visit is an indication of strong relations between Turkey and United Kingdom, and will further strengthen our strategic partnership," he added.

Gul said history of peoples of Turkey and United Kingdom intermingled in an inseparable way, adding "our armies confronted from time to time. However, at the same time our armies battled boldly against common enemies and sacrificed their lives. Relations between our countries have affected tide of events in Europe for centuries."

Gul said Turkey and Britain, as allies, shielded freedom and democracy in Europe, took seriously their responsibilities to give direction to developments in Europe, and did not remain as a spectator to the opportunities.

The Queen arrived in Ankara earlier in the day and visited Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

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