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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bakoyannis meets Turkish leaders

  • [01] Bakoyannis meets Turkish leaders

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis confirmed Athens' and Ankara's "will and determination" to forge ahead with improved bilateral relations, speaking to reporters on the second day of a two-day working visit here for talks with Turkish leadership.

    "Our target is successive development and a complete normalisation of bilateral relations," she said.

    Bakoyannis was received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and held talks with her counterpart, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

    In the morning, Bakoyannis met in private with Babacan, followed by a meeting with Erdogan for one hour and a half, in the presence of Babacan and both countries' delegations. Later, Babacan accompanied Bakoyannis to the presidential mansion where she was received by Gul.

    According to the Greek FM, talks mostly focused on Cyprus, following recent developments and general elections on the island.

    Both sides confirmed that new opportunities have arisen and "we must contribute to achieve the best out of them."

    Bakoyannis made special reference to the July 8 agreement and said this could lead to a well-prepared talks aimed at a viable, just and functional solution that will lead to the reunion of Cyprus and "give the opportunity to Greek and Turkish-Cypriots to enjoy the benefits of Cyprus' access to the European Union."

    Turkey's European course was also discussed, as Bakoyannis assured the Turkish side that Greece will continue supporting Ankara's bid.

    Babacan and Bakoyannis discussed substantial cooperation in the trade and energy sectors.

    "We are targeting continuing development and normalisation of bilateral relations with full respect to International Law," Bakoyannis said.

    On his part, Babacan added that a climate of cooperation and dialogue prevails and "we can discuss openly all our problems in order to find solutions."

    Babacan also referred to a "window of opportunity" for Cyprus, adding that talks also touched on differences in the Aegean and what he referred to as "minorities".

    "Our relationship is based on mutual respect and understanding and these are very important (issues) for the bilateral relations and the whole area," he said.

    Bakoyannis was attended the 4th congress of the Women in Local Government, held in Ankara, and organized by the ruling AKP party.

    Speaking to an audience that included many female delegates in headscarves, Bakoyannis noted "human rights and the secular character of a country cannot be threaten by the headscarf, nor can it be protected by it."

    She also expressed her belief that Greek and Turkish women have common experiences, and if they enhance their participation in the social and political life they can open new paths for friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

    The Greek delegation returns to Greece on Saturday evening.


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