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Turkish foreign minister visits New Zealand

Meeting with his counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu exchanges views on regional issues.

Turkey and New Zealand have held official foreign ministerial-level talks for the first time in 20 years on Thursday.

During his official visit to New Zealand, Turkey's foreign minister met with his counterpart Murray McCully in Auckland.

According to diplomatic sources, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the visit was important.

Cavusoglu also congratulated McCully on his country's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The UN General Assembly elected Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The new non-permanent members will serve two-year terms, beginning on Jan. 1, 2015.

A free trade agreement could be signed between the two countries, McCully added.

The counterparts exchanged views on regional issues, including Cyprus, the peace process in the Middle East and developments in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu also met with Craig Foss, Minister of Veterans' Affairs.

Cavusoglu acquainted him with the preparations of the 100th anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli, according to diplomatic sources.

The battle of Gallipoli took place in 1915 during the First World War in Canakkale, northwestern Turkey.

Cavusoglu said a commission was established for the preparations and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the commemoration ceremony in Canakkale, the source added.

A separate ceremony may be held in August for New Zealanders, due to their strong demand to attend the ceremony, Cavusoglu continued.

Cavusoglu added that 500 high level visitors from 70 countries will pay a visit to Canakkale.

Cavusoglu also met with New Zealand's Labour Party's spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, David Shearer.