Dutch Royals Welcome President of Turkey
The Netherlands’ royal trio welcomed to their country, President Abdullah Gul of Turkey, on Tuesday. Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima will be the President, and First Lady Hayrunnisa Gul’s hosts during their three state visit.
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At the palace in Amsterdam, there was a welcoming ceremony that included the playing of the national anthems and inspections of the honor guards.
Afterward, President Gul laid a wreath at the National Monument on the Dam. He then opened an exhibit at the Amsterdam Museum about the early trade between Netherlands and Turkey.
Later on, the Crown Princely couple accompanied the President to the De Bazel conference center for a meeting with representatives of Dutch and Turkish businesses. They all then attended the Dutch-Turkish Bussiness Forum at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.
While that was going on, First Lady Hayrunnisa Gul was with Queen Beatrix’s sister, Princess Margriet, who showed her around the Museum of Bags and Purses.
In the evening, a state gala was held at the palace in honor of the Turkish guests.
Tomorrow will see the President meet with Dutch government members, and have lunch with them as overseen by Queen Beatrix. He will also visit the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Later in the evening, President Gul and his wife will accompany the Dutch royals to a concert by the Turkish Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
After opening an exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum, Mr. and Mrs. Gul will end their visit and leave for Turkey.
HGD Guillaume on Economic Mission to Turkey
Since Monday, Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume has been in Turkey, where he has been looking to promote his grand duchy on an economic scale. With him is the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Jeannot Krecke.
During the visit, Guillaume and Ms. Krecke met with Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz. The three discussed energy sources from Turkey to Luxembourg, such as the building of the Nabucco pipeline, which will allow Western Europe to diversify its gas supply sources.
Also during his time, Guillaume met with the Minister of State in charge of Foreign Trade, Mehmet Zafer. Zafer criticized the European Union for stalling its efforts to admit in Turkey, but praised Luxembourg for its support on the matter.
When the Hereditary Grand Duke and Ms. Krecke met with the finance minister, Mehmet Simsek, the good political relations between Luxembourg and Turkey were highlighted. Jeannot Krecke express regret over the insufficient attention Luxembourg paid towards Luxembourg in terms of an economic mission.
According to Minister Simsek, the Turkish city of Istanbul has the ambition to become a regional financial center, and the Luxembourg financial sector serves as its model.
For Wednesday and Thursday, Guillaume and Luxembourg’s delegation will visit Istanbul for a few seminars in order to get to know the city’s financial district.
Jordanian King Signs Free Trade Deal With Turkey
Jordan is experiencing a state visit from Turkey this week. On Tuesday, President Abdullah Gul was welcomed by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania to Amman.
The main purpose of Gul’s visit is to launch a free trade deal with the Hashemite Kingdom, something both countries have been working on since 2005. The Prime Ministers of Jordan and Turkey agreed the deal would be launched before 2009 was up.
That deal came true not long after the welcoming ceremony at the royal palace.
“The free trade agreement, which was signed today, is key to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation and boosting trade as well as investments between Jordan and Turkey,” a palace statement quoted the King as telling the President.
“The two sides discussed efforts to strengthen cooperation in the fields of transport and energy,” the statement added.
“The agreement, which goes into effect in 2011, provides for the total removal of custom duties between the two countries in 12 years,” Jordanian Minister of Trade and Industry Amer Hadidi said.
The governments of Jordan and Turkey will also eschew visa requirements between the two nations.
King Juan Carlos Receives Various World Politicians
Spain’s King Juan Carlos was a busy man today. He met with three politicians from three countries today at Zarzuela Palace at separate times. One of those leaders was on a state visit, while the second was on an official. The third was in Madrid for a forum.
I’ll start with the one on an official visit. The mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri met with the King after he had spent the weekend signing agreements with Madrid officials to promote their two cities together.
With Spain’s EU Presidency in 2010 fast approaching, it will be dealing with the issue of whether or not to allow Turkey into the Union. Today at noon, King Juan Carlos met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and discussed the country’s relationship with the EU. The King assured Davutoglu that Spain will do all it can to allow Turkey’s entry.
Davutoglu was in Cordoba to oversee the building of the future headquarters Arab and International Institute of Arab and Muslim World. It is expected to be complete by next year.
Lastly, though perhaps more importantly, King Juan Carlos met with Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom, who is on a state visit to Spain.
This is the most recent visit between the two tight nations. The first being in 2004 with Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Letizia. A few months later in 2005, the Hungarian President came by. Then in 2007, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia made a state visit to the eastern European country.
In the evening, there was a state gala dinner between Spain and Hungary.
Qatar Emir Cements Economic Ties With Turkey
The Emir of Qatar sign a series of economic agreements with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul on Monday, as part of his two day visit to the country. One of the agreements was to have a gas pipeline run to Turkey via Qatar.
“We are eager to have a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey. We discussed this matter in the framework of cooperation in the field of energy. In this regard, a working group will be set up that will come up with concrete results in the shortest possible time,” Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
“In the same vein, we exhaustively discussed the pipelines, storage facilities and refineries to be established. We also held talks concerning the supply of liquefied natural gas [LNG] from Qatar,” the Emir said.
“This working group will work hard to obtain concrete results in line with our negotiations.”
In addition to the pipeline agreement, Turkey and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding for media outlets between both countries. There was also an agreement to end private passports.
Emir Sheikh Hamad called the new relations between his country and Turkey “historic.” He also thanked President Gul for Turkey’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. When asked if the two countries will host a joint meditation session between Israel and the Palestinians, the Emir replied, “If the Palestinian parties wish, we are ready, acknowledging Turkey’s role in this regard.”
Crown Prince Haakon In Turkey
Norway’s royal heir is on a three day mission to strengthen ties with Turkey. Haakon was invited by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is the first time any member of the Norwegian royal family ever made an official visit to the country.
Haakon told reporters at the hotel where he is staying in the Turkish capital of Ankara, that the main aim of his visit to Turkey was to boost cooperation in hydro energy.
The Crown Prince said that Norway was experienced in hydro energy, and was supplying 90 percent of its electricity with this method.
Haakon added that his country also wanted to further improve cooperation with Turkey in maritime, and tourism.
In Ankara, the Prince will open seminars on hydro power. Then in Istanbul, he will attend business meetings with sector leaders from both Turkey and Norway. The latter have accompanied Haakon to Turkey.
One person not with Haakon is Crown Princess Mette-Marit. This may be because she has begun classes for a master’s degree in management in Oslo.