Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit, on a three day visit to Moscow, has been holding talks with Soviet leaders.
Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit, on a three day visit to Moscow, has been holding talks with Soviet leaders. His stay in the U.S.S.R. is aimed at improving relations with Turkey's powerful neighbour and is another facet of Mr. Ecevit's extremely active foreign policy.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Ecevit was on his first trip to the Soviet capital since becoming Prime Minister in January. His talks with Premier Alexei Kosygin and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko covered both international and economic affairs. Though Mr. Ecevit has stressed that Turkey will remain firmly in NATO, part of his visit involved an agreement calling for friendly relations between the two countries. Moscow has consistently ??? Turkey since relations with its NATO partners came under strain after the 1974 invasion of Cyprus.
Premier Ecevit was expected to sign an agreement on Soviet-Turkish co-operation in Black Sea oil exploration. The Turkish delegation was also hopeful that a contract might be completed, allowing Turkey to buy Soviet oil at the price set by the organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Economic ties between the two nations have flourished recently, following a 158-million Pound (288-million Dollar) trade deal, which include for the first time the purchase of Soviet civil aircraft by Turkey.
Mr. Ecevit talks with President Leonid Brezhnev centred on his country's expanding relations with the Soviet Union, and the Turkish leader referred to the atmosphere of trust which has developed between Ankara and Moscow. From the Soviet point of view, Turkey's control of the only exit from the Black Sea, and its continued membership in NATO have long been a good reason to keep a close watch on what happens in Ankara.