In cairo, Gul discusses bilateral ties, mideast peace process with Mubarak
As part of a two-day official visit to Egypt at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, President Abdullah Gul had talks with Egyptian officials and attended a military school graduation ceremony on Tuesday and Wednesday. Gul first met with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and then attended a military parade marking the Egyptian Military Academy graduation, along with Mubarak. The graduation ceremony featured a presentation of Egyptian army technology and equipment, while many helicopters, tanks and motorcycles bearing both Egyptian and Turkish flags took part in the parade. At the end of the ceremony, Mubarak and Gul handed out medals to honor graduates, and then proceeded to the Presidential Palace to hold bilateral talks on a number of issues, including the Middle East peace process and Turkish-Egyptian relations. The trade volume between Turkey and Egypt last year was $3.26 billion. Mubarak visited Turkey twice last year, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has paid numerous visits to Egypt over the past year. Turkey and Egypt have decided to increase military cooperation, including education and training for their military personnel. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug was in Egypt in May to boost bilateral military cooperation. Last month Turkish Airlines (THY) started direct flights to Alexandria to promote tourism between Egypt and Turkey. Gul was also expected to discuss Egypt's contributions to easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza during his talks with Egyptian officials before returning to Turkey Wednesday.