Istanbul – Turkish Prime Minister officially opens the IV Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean Istanbul, Turkey: 23-24 October 2009

The IV Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean took off today in Istanbul with the inaugural speech delivered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The bridging role of Istanbul between cultures, civilizations and continents was highlighted by the Turkish Premier, who recalled that the city is the gateway to both the East and the West and it not only unifies the continents of Europe and Asia but also the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
“The Mediterranean region provided important opportunities to all the littoral countries and in order to be exploited all states must work hand in hand”, Premier Erdoğan said. He added that it is important to transform the Mediterranean into an area of peace, solidarity and security where the welfare of the populations can be strengthened. “The current world challenges are common to all of us and we have to make all possible efforts to overcome them together”.
In his speech, Hon. Erdoğan referred to Turkey’s EU accession process and to the ongoing discussions on the question of Cyprus hoping to reach a solution by the end of this year.
The opening session was also addressed by the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, H.E. Mehmet Ali Şahin, who mentioned as a key issue for Mediterranean prosperity the eradication of disparities between the North and the South of the region. With reference to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, Hon Şahin said that PAM is an important regional organization for the settlement of peace, stability and cooperation in the Mediterranean.
The two leading Turkish political figures were introduced by PAM President Rudy Salles, who reminded the participants of the important outreach initiatives which on this particular occasion have materialized with the presence and participation of the representatives of a number of regional organizations with whom PAM has and is establishing cooperation agreements. He also thanked the Turkish delegation and their collaborators for the hard work in preparing the Plenary Session under the guidance of the Head of the delegation Hon. Aşkın Asan. Hon. Salles concluded his presentation
saying that “PAM has to make sure that citizens get closer to each other from every aspect and the final objective of the organization is to improve the quality of life for one and all”.

ISSUED ON: 23.10.2009

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