ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)—German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called Turkey the “key country to find solutions in the region” during a reception attended by Turkey’s EU negotiator in Istanbul on Friday morning.
“Turkey is surrounded by the most problematic region of the world,” he said after he met with EU negotiator Egemen Bagis.
He also said there was work to be done by the European Union regarding Turkey’s bid to join the bloc and that Turkey also had work to do, reiterating a statement he made Thursday during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.
“As Germany, we have a great interest in Turkey,” he said, according to Anatolia news agency reports. “The visit to Turkey is not a coincidence. It is a symbol.”
His trip marked the first visit by a German foreign minister since the September 2009 elections in Germany, after which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and Westerwelle’s Free Democratic Party formed a coalition government.