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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Venizelos, Davutoglu hold talks in Ankara; Turkish FM to visit Athens

  • [01] Venizelos, Davutoglu hold talks in Ankara; Turkish FM to visit Athens

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA - A. Abatzis) Government vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos held talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his visit here on Friday, after which the two sides announced that the Turkish minister intends to visit Athens in November or December.

    The climate at the meeting was described as "warm", with both sides expressing satisfaction at the new "energy bridge" linking the two countries through the signature for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Afterward, there was a broader meeting between delegations of the Greek and Turkish foreign ministries, followed by a press conference.

    Both ministers emphasised the importance of the new TAP pipeline, which Venizelos stressing that it "changed the geographic facts," and that its significance was as much geopolitical as economic.

    Davutoglu referred to positive developments in cooperation between Greece and Turkey in the trade, tourism, energy and culture sectors, while he also emphasised that the TAP pipeline that, in conjuction with the Turkey-Azerbaijan agreement, created links between Greece and Turkey on an energy level.

    Referring to bilateral political relations, Venizelos reiterated Greece's support for Turkey's European prospects, saying this was a "strategic choice".

    The two ministers also took questions concerning the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Aegean, with Davutoglu noting only that exploratory talks between the two countries on a foreign ministry level are continuing. "We want to convert the Aegean into a sea of peace and prosperity," he said.

    Venizelos replied that "all countries know their rights as these arise from international law, protect their national sovereignty based on the criteria of international law and have an obligation to negotiate in good faith in the framework of legal international order."

    On the Cyprus issue and the fact that Cyprus has selected a negotiator, Venizelos noted that the negotiator had the institutional flexibility to make all the necessary contacts.

    "The Cyprus Republic is a member-state of the United Nations, the European Union and the Eurozone, while the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities shoulder the weight of the talks," he said.

    Davutoglu said it was "very important" that Venizelos was "carrying out his first trip abroad in Ankara". The Greek foreign minister's trip to Turkey was preceded by a trip to the Cyprus Republic shortly after he took office.

    Also commenting on the significance of his trip to Ankara, Venizelos said that it "symbolises the importance we attach to good Greek-Turkish relations".

    He said that the next meeting of the Greek-Turkish High-level Cooperation Council will be held in the first half of 2014, during the Greek EU presidency. He stressed that a decision was made to begin processes in both countries to ratify and put into force all the agreements signed in the two previous Council meetings.

    Venizelos noted the progress that has been made in bilateral economic cooperation and stressed that there are huge possibilities for cooperation in tourism, infrastructure, transport and finance.

    Davutoglu said their talks were carried out in a "extremely positive atmosphere" and that they had focused on bilateral relations, matters concerning the EU and Middle East and "an exchange of views on solving the Cyprus issue."

    With respect to EU issues, the Turkish minister said the Greek presidency of the EU in the first half of 2014 was an important event and that the meetings on Friday had examined issues relating to Turkey's ongoing accession negotiations and the opening and review of new chapters.

    "We expressed our satisfaction with Greece's support for Turkey's European prospects," he said.


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