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NATO brings Greece and Turkey closer together

26 August 2009 / 16:08:31  GRReporter
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Anders Fogh Rasmussen"The best cooperation" between Greece and Turkey is expected by the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is visiting Athens today and tomorrow and after that will visit Ankara. In his official NATO blog, Mr. Rasmussen writes: "it is my intention to raise the question of better cooperation between Turkey and Greece, during my visit to both countries." "I know it is a bilateral issue between the two countries but we /NATO/ have come to the point where it is causing us problems in our missions," in particular the tension between the two countries in the Aegean Sea.

During his visit, Mr. Rasmussen will discuss the improvement of relationship between Greece and Turkey by raising the Cyprian problem, which is considered to be one of the main obstacles in this cooperation.

The missions in Afghanistan, NATO's expansion, the relationship between NATO and Russia and the new strategic dogma will also be discussed between Rasmussen, PM Kostas Karamanlis, and ministers of foreign affairs and defense Dora Bakoyanni and Evangelos Meymarakis.

Based on an interview with Anders Fogh Rasmussen published in Miliet newspaper, Turkey needs to extend the mandate of its soldiers in Afghanistan and to join the fight against terrorism in the country. he also adds that sending an army in the country "will be greeted with satisfaction."

For now Turkey has about 300 infantries but the country's mission is limited only to Kabul and its surroundings. The General Secretary believes that more efforts can be made, which are not military, like educating Afghani soldiers and policemen and help education and healthcare. Rasmussen said that those will be steps which will show all Muslim countries "that this is not a religious war but a fight against terrorism."

It is expected that the General Secretary will visit Ankara on Thursday and meet the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Dilyana Ivanova


Tags: NewsPoliticsNATOGreeceTurkey
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