China and Turkey sign \'\'action plan\'\' to boost ties
Turkey and China signed Monday an "action plan" to boost bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields. The document, inked by foreign ministers Ismail Cem of Turkey and Tang Jiaxuan of China, outlines a framework of enhanced cooperation between the two countries.
"Our ties have been on a positive track. With the action plan they will gain speed," Cem told reporters after the ceremony. Tang, for his part, said that Turkey and China had many cooperation opportunities of mutual benefit that should be developed in the coming years.
The two sides had listed a number of issues to focus on in the future, among them the inauguration of regular meetings on economic cooperation, Cem said. He added that they discussed ways of attracting to Turkey some of the 180 million Chinese tourists that travel abroad each year.
Turkey also asked the Chinese for more bilateral talks on the Cyprus conflict, an item on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council where China has a permanent seat, a Turkish diplomat, who declined to be named, told AFP.
Tang also met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. He was scheduled to wrap up his four-day visit on Tuesday. In April last year, Chinese president Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Turkey, during which the two countries signed a protocol of cooperation in the energy field.
The Chinese side also pledged to increase imports from Turkey by 10 times and showed an interest to invest in the country, particularly in the construction and modernization of railways and thermal power plants. ¯ (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)