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The first meeting between Erdogan and Samaras will take place in January 2013

10 October 2012 / 21:10:03  GRReporter
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Programme changes and corrections in translation marked the official visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglolu to Athens.
It began with a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which lasted 55 minutes. The Turkish minister brought the greetings and best wishes for the success of the Greek government from his counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan.
The two men talked about all issues in the Greek-Turkish relations and discussed the developments in the Middle East and Syria. Much of the conversation focused on the problem of illegal immigration.
"The big problems we have witnessed in our neighbouring countries oblige us to think in a more mature and rational way. Greece and Turkey have to actually contribute to peace and security in the region," the chairman of the Greek Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis stressed in his address to the Turkish Prime Minister.  
"There are conditions to enable us to achieve greater mutual understanding and cooperation between the two parliaments," the head of the Greek parliament said. He added that one of the main conditions was the withdrawal of the casus belli clause (a cause for a war) in the event that Greece extended its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, as provided by international law.
Evangelos Meimarakis gave Ahmet Davutoglou a boat. "I welcome you and give you a souvenir - a boat that floats freely in our Aegean Sea."
"We want the Aegean Sea, to be a sea of ​​peace and friendship, to be open to any kind of cooperation," was the comment of the Turkish guest according to the press office of the Greek Parliament. Initially, Ahmet Davutogolu's statement was translated as follows: "We want the Aegean Sea, to be a sea of ​​friendship and cooperation, to always be free." The mistake was attributed to the interpreter who was present at the meeting.
It was announced during the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister with his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos that the next meeting of the supreme council for cooperation between the two countries would be held in January 2013. It will involve the ministers as well as the prime ministers of the two countries.
Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the most important topics of this cooperation were tourism, culture and the fight against illegal immigration and "a lot can be done about them."
He stressed the need for avoiding actions that might hinder the atmosphere of friendship and might be hiding the danger of an accident or a crisis. "The foundations of a new relationship between the two countries may be laid to solve the Cyprus issue," the Greek minister said. Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that tensions in Syria should be addressed because there was the risk of spreading the crisis into other countries and reiterated that Greece supports Turkey in this regard.
In his statements, Ahmet Davutoglou compared the economic crisis in Greece to an earthquake and said that his country supports its neighbour in its efforts to resolve it.
He said there were open questions between the two countries, one of which was the status quo in the Aegean Sea, adding that they should be tackled with affirmative action.
According to Ahmet Davutoglou, Turkey is making efforts to address minority issues. UN support to Turkey on Syria was due to the support of the Greek side, he said.
The two ministers did not hold a press conference, as provided on the agenda of the visit, citing the busy schedule.
Meanwhile, the defence ministers of the two countries Panos Panagiotopoulos and Ismet Yilmaz met in Brussels within the context of a workshop of ministers of NATO’s member states.
According to the Greek minister, they had discussed all bilateral issues. The discussion covered the violations of the Greek airspace over the Aegean Sea by the Turkish military aircraft fleet in particular as well as the periodic influx of Turkish warships into Greek territorial waters.

Tags: PoliticsAhmet DavutoglouGreek-Turkish relationsDimitris AvramopoulosDefence ministersNATO
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