Turkey, Greece to expand cooperation

Turkey, Greece to expand cooperation

Turkey, Greece to expand cooperation

Greek FM Avramopoulos (L) and his Turkish counterpart Davutoğlu vow to boost relations. AA Photo

Turkey and Greece have laid down a road map ahead of next month’s second meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council, with the foreign ministers of both countries meeting Feb. 15 to conduct preparations for the gathering.

“Keeping in mind the current differences and problems, we know that we have to struggle against them. We think that we have to invest on substantial opportunities between us,” Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said at a press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu.

“[While] boosting good relations between Turkey and Greece, we want to create a model network of relations for the region and for the eastern Mediterranean,” the Greek minister said.

The prime ministers of Turkey and Greece will sign a number of agreements, which Avramopoulos thinks will consolidate friendship and cooperation and benefit the people of both countries.

Greece is supportive of Turkey’s EU bid, and the Greek minister believes that the path is dependent on mutual sovereignty and international law, implicitly referring to the continental shelf dispute between Turkey and Greece.

The Turkish and Greek people expect good neighboring relations, so an environment of security and prosperity should be established, Avramopoulos said. “The distance between Turkey and Greece has nothing with kilometers, but rather the psychology. We want to change that,” he said. Davutoğlu said Turkey and Greek relations were enjoying a “paradigm shift.”

Earlier in the day, Avramopoulos also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who late in January held an unscheduled meeting with his Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras, in Doha. Erdoğan was in Doha for a working visit, while Samaras was there to try to attract foreign investment to his debt-ridden country. At the time, Erdoğan said that he had invited the Greek prime minister to Ankara.