Diplomatic Diary: Turkey's Gul meets with Pakistani leaders


Turkish President Abdullah Gul was in Pakistan for a two-day state visit. Also this week: Macedonia urges Bulgaria to put in "a good word" for its NATO accession bid.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (2nd from left) shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammedmian Soomro (2nd from right) in Islamabad on Monday (December 3rd). [Getty Images]

Turkish President Abdullah Gul arrived in Pakistan on Sunday (December 2nd) for a two-day state visit to promote relations between the two countries. Gul met with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Muhammadmian Soomro, and former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.


Five NATO ambassadors -- Italy's Stefano Stefanini, Greece's Thrassyvoulos Stamatopoulos, Spain's Benavides Orgaz, Norway's Kim Traavik, and Romania's Sorin Ducaru, ended a two-day visit to Albania on Friday (November 30th). The ambassadors met with Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha and checked on Albanian progress in reform implementation.


The speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Georgi Pirinski, arrived for a two-day official visit to Albania on Sunday (December 2nd). At a meeting with his Albanian counterpart, Jozefina Topalli, Pirinski reiterated Bulgaria's support for Albania's Euro-Atlantic aspirations, stressing that Albania's NATO membership would improve stability in the region.


Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic met on Wednesday (November 28th) in Paris with a group of ten members of the French parliament. They discussed the situation in Southeast Europe and the EU perspectives for the region.


Macedonia is experiencing a historic period in which it expects to be invited to join NATO, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Wednesday (November 28th) after a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart, Sergey Stanishev, in Sofia. Gruevski said Macedonia expects Bulgaria to prove its good neighbourly relations by putting in "a good word" for Macedonia’s admission to the EU and NATO.


Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, arrived for a four-day official visit to Greece on Tuesday (November 27th) to meet with <b>Greek</b> Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. They discussed ways to co-ordinate moves on the Cyprus issue.


After meeting with his Albanian counterpart, Sali Berisha, in Tirana on Monday (December 3rd), Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Italy fully supports the Balkan countries' integration in the EU. He also expressed Italy's support for Albania's integration into NATO.


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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began a three-day official visit to Greece on Monday (December 3rd). He and Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias discussed bilateral relations, developments in the region, the Palestinian issue and the situations in the Middle East and Africa.


Montenegrin Defence Minister Boro Vucinic and US Ambassador to Podgorica Roderick Moore signed an agreement on Monday (December 3rd). Under the deal, Montenegro will destroy outdated small and medium-sized weapons, as a precondition for NATO accession.

(Various sources 26/11/07-04/12/07)

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