Ankara, 6 July 2022 (TDI): Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi. Italian Prime Minister is in Turkiye for an official visit, and besides meeting President Erdogan he also attended Turkiye-Italy Intergovernmental Summit at the Presidential Complex.

President Erdogan voiced his pleasure over hosting Prime Minister Draghi and his accompanying delegation in Ankara. The President also offered his condolences to the victims of the ice avalanche in the Italian Alps on Sunday and wished speedy recovery to those injured. President Erdogan also thanked Italian officials for the cooperation they displayed after the helicopter crash in which four Turkish citizens passed away.

“Today we held the third meeting of our Intergovernmental Summit with Italy, our friend, strategic partner, and NATO ally”, noted President Erdogan.

President also noted, “As two Mediterranean countries, we have exchanged views on both regional and global matters”. Erdogan said, “We have signed 9 agreements which will strengthen the institutionalization of our relations in many areas”.

On trade, President said, “Despite the pandemic, our bilateral trade volume has increased and surpassed 23 billion dollars”. Erdogan also said, “The current figures show that we will easily exceed the threshold of 25 billion dollars this year”.

Fight against terror

While also underscoring defense relations between Turkiye and Italy, Erdogan said “The fight against terror is another important item on our agenda”. Erdogan further said “In this regard, during our bilateral meeting I have shared with my treasured friend our expectations from Italy. We have addressed with Mr. Prime Minister migration management and combatting illegal migration as well.”

Turkiye-EU relations

Turkish President also stressed that Turkiye-European Union relations were also on the agenda for their talks. Erdogan said “The developments in our region have once again shown in a concrete manner how important Turkiye is to the European Union in many areas. What really matters is to strengthen Turkiye’s membership perspective at this stage. Italy is aware of the added value Turkiye’s membership will provide to the EU”.

Ukrainian Crisis

Regarding the Ukrainian crisis; President said “We have exchanged our view on returning to the negotiation process between Russia and Ukraine”. President Erdogan further said, “I have also discussed with Mr. Prime Minister other regional matters including, Libya in particular.”

In response, Italian Prime Minister Draghi hailed his meeting with Turkish President Erdogan. Draghi said Tuesday’s meeting “indicates the common will to reinforce collaboration: Italy and Turkey are partners, friends, and allies”.

Prime Minister Draghi also spoke Russia-Ukraine crisis and emphasized joint efforts for a solution to the war. Draghi said, “Italy and Turkey are in the front line for a stable and lasting peace in Ukraine”.

Italian Prime Minister also raised the issue of human rights during his meeting with the Turkish President. “In our conversation, we also discussed the importance of respecting human rights,” Draghi said. Draghi further said, “I encouraged President Erdogan to rejoin the Istanbul Convention on violence against women.”