Goodwill to help ease relations with Turkey, says Greek PM

Goodwill to help ease relations with Turkey, says Greek PM

ATHENS-Anadolu Agency
Goodwill to help ease relations with Turkey, says Greek PM

The problems in bilateral relations between Greece and Turkey can eventually be overcome "as long as both sides show good will" Greece's prime minister told local media on Dec. 5.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Watford, London, and the two leaders had an open discussion that lasted an hour and a half on the sidelines of NATO leaders' summit.

"I presented all the issues arising from the latest Turkish moves," Mitsotakis told reporters, adding that the "disagreements" from both sides were noted and that both sides agreed to continue discussions on "confidence-building measures".

Mitsotakis said he asked Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, to convene the National Council on Foreign Policy and brief all political leaders about the meeting.

"I would like to assure the Greek people that difficulties in our relationship with Turkey have always existed, still exist, and will exist. But I believe that as long as both sides show goodwill, these difficulties can be overcome," he said.

Mitsotakis also said a Turkey-Libya deal on maritime boundaries between the two countries which was signed last week would only complicate sensitive relations in the region.

'Migrant issue affects all of Europe'

Meanwhile, Mitsotakis also said that Greece expects support and cooperation from the European Union (EU) on its migration problem.

Mitsotakis on Dec. 5 met European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson in Athens, where he said Greece looks forward to the EU's help and tangible suggestions regarding the migration issue.

"This is a matter that has a clear European dimension,” he said. “It is not a Greek-Turkish issue, it is a matter for the whole of the European Union.”

Johansson said the EU is ready to work with Greece on ideas and proposals to solve problems.

She stressed the ultimate goal should be a common European asylum system.

"We have already begun presenting some ideas for a European return mechanism," she added.

Schinas and Johansson will visit Turkey on Dec. 6 to discuss the issue.