BRUSSELS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the European Union (EU) on Monday congratulated outgoing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his election as president of Turkey.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in an official statement: "Turkey is a key partner for the EU, a candidate country negotiating EU accession, a neighbor, an important trade partner and a foreign policy ally.”
"As you rightly underlined yourself, we trust you will maintain the conciliatory role which your new position involves, and strive to encompass all communities, beliefs, sensitivities, opinions and lifestyles of the Turkish society," they added.
"We also look forward to your continuing support to the current process aiming at a settlement of the Kurdish issue, in which you already invested valuable efforts and on your continuing support to reach a settlement in Cyprus," the EU leaders said.
Erdogan is still officially Turkey's prime minister. He has to resign the post that he has held since 2003 within two weeks.
Erdogan is set to become Turkey's first directly-elected president after winning more than 52 percent of the vote, local media reported.