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Great expectations from Erdoğan's visit in Athens

13 May 2010 / 13:05:43  GRReporter
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Tomorrow the Turkish Prime Minister arrives on a two-day visit in Greece together with 10 ministers and 100 businessmen. The program is expected to be full of political and economic meetings, which aim to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Erdoğan will meet with Prime Minister George Papandreou, President Karolos Papoulyas, the chairman of parliament Filipos Petsalnikos and the leader of the opposition New Democracy party Antonis Samaras. 

The goal Turkey sets is to establish a climate of cooperation and "to change the model of relations between both countries," said a Turkish source. Turkey attaches great importance to the 20 agreements, which are expected to be signed. Some of them are related to the protection of forests from fire, others are in the health sector, environmental protection, spillage of Maritza and disasters, which each year cause and lead to major damage. 

The most important part of the visit will be the official establishment of a Supreme Council for cooperation by the two Prime Ministers, which will include seven Greek and 10 Turkish ministers. Eyes will be focused also on the Greek-Turkish business forum, on which some of the best businessmen of both countries will meet. Turkey is showing keen interest for investment in Greece. 

According to initial information within the framework of the Supreme Council for Cooperation many agreements will be signed in the fields of tourism, energy, education, transport and banking system. Perhaps Turkey will voice the issue of flights of combat aircrafts in the Aegean Sea, but the "tough subjects" are expected to be discussed at a bilateral meeting between the two Prime Ministers, reported Vima newspaper. 

As regards to the waiver of visas from Turkey to Greece, and mostly regarding the one-day visits to Greek islands, Ankara is optimistic and says that "this will happen too, but not now." 

The importance of Erdoğan’s visit was stressed also by a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Burak Ozugergin: "We believe that Greece is our partner and not our enemy. Greece’s economic problems affect Turkey as well. Greek prosperity will have a positive impact on Turkey." 

The visit of Turkish PM Tayyip Erdoğan is a start for a new attempt to deepen the relations between Greece and Turkey, said Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas from Vienna during the International Seminar on the European perspective on Western Balkans. "This is an attempt to rebuild, which we are doing with careful steps and with good preparation," said Mr. Droutsas.

Tags: Greece Athens Turkey Aegean Sea Erdogan
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