Italy's new foreign minister to visit Turkey
Italy's newly-appointed Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata will begin a visit to Turkey on Thursday to attend a Turkish-Italian forum, only days after assuming his post in the new Italian government formed by Prime Minister Mario Monti Todayszaman reported
The forum, the eighth of its kind, is chaired by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Italy and brings together politicians, businessmen, academics, journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations from the two countries. The forum, which has convened regularly since 2004, will focus on the future of the Mediterranean region in light of the Arab Spring, according to a statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. It will also discuss civil society's role in reinvigorating Turkey's stalled bid to join the European Union.
Terzi di Sant'Agata and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu, will inaugurate the forum, to be held in İstanbul. The two ministers will also have talks on Turkish-Italian relations, Turkey's EU membership process, the Cyprus dispute and major international issues, the Foreign Ministry statement said, adding that the visit will make significant contributions to further advancement of Turkish-Italian ties.
Italy, under former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, had been a supporter of the accession of Turkey into the 27-nation club. Monti, a respected economist, was appointed by the Italian president to form the new government after Berlusconi's resignation earlier this month. Monti's government of technocrats, formed last week, aims to save Italy from the European debt crisis.