Erdogan meets with Rompuy
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Prime Ministry building for a tête-à-tête and inter-delegation meeting between the Turkish government and the European Council. After the meeting, Rompuy and Erdogan held a joint press conference. Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said that Turkey was a bridge between the 1.5 billion Islamic world and Europe. "There are currently more than 5 million Turks in the EU, there is already a Turkey. Turkey, at the point of overcoming all the problems, has much to do with the European Union." For his part, Rompuy expressed hope towards opening new negotiation chapters soon and appreciated the judicial reforms, especially the 4th judicial package, and the stages taken regarding the new constitution as the EU minds fundamental human rights and freedoms such as the freedom of expression. Touching on the domestic developments in Turkey, Rompuy stated that the EU supports the efforts towards solving the Kurdish issue till the end. Condemning the Reyhanli blast in Turkish southern border province of Hatay on May 11, Rompuy praised Turkey's efforts to shelter and embrace the Syrian refugees. "We are in full cooperation with Turkey as the EU. The EU will keep on working with Turkey as well as with all the partners and allies in order to restore peace and stability in Syria. We are ready to provide any kind of assistance for solution and humanitarian aid," Rompuy said. Rompuy also stated that he expects Erdogan soon in Brussels to discuss on the EU negotiation process also with the Presidents of the EU Commission and EU Parliament.