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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM in Istanbul for High-Level Council, Forum, talks with Gul, PM

  • [01] PM in Istanbul for High-Level Council, Forum, talks with Gul, PM

    AMNA/ Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives on Monday morning in Istanbul, for the 2nd Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Business Council and a joint Business Forum, both to be held later in the day, while he will also have meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Samaras is accompanied by a large contingent of ministers as well as a large business delegation.

    Some 20 agreements, protocols and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in a wide range of sectors are slated to be signed. The agreements pertain to matters concerning the everyday life of the citizens of the two countries, including transports, health, tourism and clamping down on illegal migration, while protocols will be signed between the Press General Secretariats of the two countries, Greece's and Turkey's respective meteorological institutes, and between Greek national broadcasting foundation ERT and its Turkish counterpart TRT.

    Samaras was due to arrive in Istanbul shortly after 9:00 a.m., and was scheduled to be received by President Gul an hour later, which will be followed by a private meeting with his Turkish counterpart Erdogan at 11:00 a.m.

    Samaras and Erdogan will co-chair the interministerial meeting - the 2nd Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council -- at noon, which will be followed by the signing of the agreements and MoUs, and joint statements by the two prime ministers at 1:00 p.m. The Council was inaugurated in 2010, with the inaugural session held in Athens. The Council, comprising some 25 ministers from both sides, will focus on the sectors of tourism, shipping and security.

    In that context, a MoU will be signed in the shipping sector encouraging collaboration among shipping companies of both countries as well as collaboration in maritime education and sea-borne tourism. A MoU will also be signed for furthering cooperation in the tourism sector, as arrivals from the other side of the Aegean have more than doubled following the simplification of the visa procedures.

    Agreements will also be signed for exchanges and cooperation in the sectors of health, sports and culture.

    Also, the public order ministers of the two countries will issue a joint statement on dealing with the problem of illegal migration, an issue of great importance for Greece given the large number of illegal migrants reaching Greece from the opposite Turkish coast an across the Greek-Turkish borders, while Turkey refuses to implement an earlier agreement between the two countries for the return of illegal migrants to the countries from which they originated.

    Afterwards the two premiers will attend the Greek-Turkish Business Forum being organised by the Federation of Greek Industries' (SEV) Greece-Turkey Business Council and Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) aiming at generating momentum in bilateral business relations, with a major participation of 100 Greek and 200 Turkish enterprises and themed "Growth passes through entrepreneurship and extroversion".

    The interest of the Greek companies participating in the business delegation focuses on promoting exports and services in such sectors as construction material, traditional foods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology and specialised information technology applications, security systems, health-hospital administration services, retail trade, and attraction of Turkish investment interest in real estate in Greece, SEV international activities chief Thanassis Lavidas told AMNA on Sunday.

    Another areas of interest include: seeking out Turkish companies interested in participating in joint ventures on the Balkan markets; expansion to the Black Sea, Caspian and Caucasus markets via alliances with Turkish companies, which due to their traditional business, religious and cultural ties have better access to those markets; the major privatisations and concessions programme the Turkish government is planning, that includes large infrastructure projects in energy assets, the health sector, road networks, rail links, ports, airports. etc.; renewable energy sources; seeking financing of energy projects in Greece, Turkey and other countries of the region; information technology, where Greek companies have technological solutions and applications that could be combined with Turkish accessibility to the Black Sea markets; the construction sector; and the tourism sector, through joint packages to attract visitors from the large tourism markets in the Far East, America and Latin America.

    Samaras is further scheduled to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar, where he will be received by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the early afternoon.

    The Greek Prime Minister is in Istanbul in response to an invitation by Erdogan made recently in Qatar, where the two Prime Ministers were on official visits. The two premiers want to send a message of good neighborhood, economic cooperation and growth to both sides of the Atlantic.

    Samaras and Erdogan are expected to discuss the entire range of Greek-Turkish relations, in light of the notes verbale submitted to the UN by both countries in recent weeks referring to their difference over the Aegean continental shelf and hydrocarbon explorations in the Aegean.

    The two premiers will also discuss the situation in Syria, which increases the migratory pressure on both Greece and Turkey, as well as Turkey's EU prospect, on which Greece's positive stance is a given fact, on condition that Turkey fulfills its relevant obligations, including the opening of its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and airplanes.

    Caption: File photo of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' (L) meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) in Qatar in late January 2013, when both premiers were on visits there.

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