Incoming Greek foreign minister sends warm greetings to Turkey

Incoming Greek foreign minister sends warm greetings to Turkey

ATHENS – Cihan News Agency
Incoming Greek foreign minister sends warm greetings to Turkey

Newly appointed Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias attends the civil oath ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, on Jan. 27. AFP Photo

Greece’s incoming Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has sent a warm message to Turkey as he assumes his position in the new government in Athens.

“I send my message of love and friendship to the Turkish people,” Kotzias told the Cihan News Agency on Jan. 27, soon after being sworn in as foreign minister.

Kotzias, a well-known academic who has previously worked as a consultant for former center-left Prime Minister George Papandreou, added that Greece “should be good neighbors with Turkey.”

The country’s new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unveiled his anti-austerity coalition government on Jan. 27, bringing together his radical left-wing party with the nationalist right, after a stunning election win that sent shockwaves through Europe.

During the term of former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Turkey and Greece had insisted on their commitment to further develop bilateral ties through cooperation in a variety of fields, while also intensifying efforts to resume Cypriot reunification talks as two guarantor countries, despite the ongoing energy tension in Cyprus.

Greek Cyprus announced the suspension of peace talks in October, as a result of a crisis in the eastern Mediterranean, which was sparked after it accelerated oil exploration drills off Cyprus.

Turkey sent the seismic research vessel Barbaros to nearby areas in its own oil exploration, deploying a warship to monitor the activities of a Greek Cypriot platform in the disputed economic zone off the island.