In Izmir, Italy's Berlusconi reiterates support for Turkey's EU bid
A Turkish-Italian intergovernmental meeting was held in Izmir yesterday, co-chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi. "Italy has always supported Turkey's EU membership bid, and that support continues," Erdogan told a joint press conference afterwards. Erdogan also stated that Turkey and Italy had reached a deal on Atak helicopters. For his part, Berlusconi said, "Some countries try to block Turkey's negotiations, but we'll always underline Turkey's strategic importance and we'll convince them." In related news, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and his Italian counterpart Franco Frattini signed an agreement to establish a Turkish-Italian university in Istanbul.