Oct 28 2010

'Jordan and Turkey strengthening historical bonds'

AMMAN - The number of Jordanians travelling to Turkey this year has exceeded 2009 levels, a development Turkish Ambassador to Jordan Ali Koprulu said is a sign of closer ties between Ankara and Amman.

According to the envoy, 90,000 Jordanians visited Turkey in the first nine months of the year, while 80,000 in the whole of 2009.

In a message marking the 87th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, Koprulu said through tourism, trade and diplomacy the two countries are entering a new era of cooperation based on "deep-rooted historical and cultural bonds".

The ambassador stressed that Jordan and Turkey are committed to enhancing bilateral ties, highlighting that the two countries see eye-to-eye on regional issues.

The Turkish diplomat highlighted that Turkey and Jordan work effortlessly to achieve comprehensive peace in the region, which he said "suffers from the lack of fair and permanent solutions".

In the letter, Koprulu stressed that since October 29, 1923, the Turkish Republic has "pursued principled domestic and foreign policies aimed at serving the interests and benefits not only of its own people but also of the people in the region and beyond".

"To this end, the main route of Turkish policy follows the course of cooperation and compromise of relevant parties in all issues of common interest with a view to achieving lasting peace, stability and sustainable development," he said.

Koprulu referred to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by Jordan and Turkey last December, noting that the two countries have also mutually lifted visa requirements.

The Jordanian-Turkish FTA has recently been approved by the Turkish parliament, the ambassador said, adding that it will be fully enforced by the end of the year.

"After the FTA, I believe that the countries' real trade potential will be mutually explored by both parties," Koprulu said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Trade volume between Turkey and Jordan has increased more than twofold since 2005 and reached $475 million in 2009.

In the first eight months of the year, the trade volume exceeded $400 million, a 40 per cent increase from the same period in 2009, according to the ambassador. The trade volume at the end of the year is expected to surpass last year's figure, he added.

By Mohammad Ghazal

© Jordan Times 2010

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