“A good day for Greek-Turkish relations,” Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told reporters during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the signature of 25 agreements. on so-called “low politics” fields.
“The politics of everyday life are essential, “Samaras underlined. “We build trust, we bring our people closers and we try to build relationships of mutual respect. Our relationship is certainly not linear, we have gone through major crises and tensions, we should not ignore our history. Chapters of progress and peace can be opened in this history.”
However he stressed that “mutual respect, international law and defense of national sovereignty” are essential for this effort.
Samaras added that Greece supports the European perspective of Turkey, “because a European Turkey would be a better neighbor for Greece.”
On the dorn issue of continental shelf Samaras said that the issue is a matter of the exploratory talks [that have been going on for some 5-6 years now] between the two countries and that Greece focuses on the international law.
As for the Cyprus issue, Samaras said that resolving the Cyprus issue would give a new course to Turkey’s path in European Union and reiterated the decisions by United Nations.
On his part, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “in recent years the relations between Greece – Turkey are getting better every day.”
“The signing of 25 agreements between Greece and Turkey is a sign of progress that has been made in the areas of cooperation between Athens and Ankara.”
Antonis Samaras arrived in Istanbul on Monday with a large delegation of cabinet ministers and some one hundred businessmen to attend the High Council of Cooperation and the Business Forum between Greece and Turkey.
The signed agreements, protocols and Memorandums of Understanding refer to cooperation in a wide range of sectors that affect the every day life of citizens of the two countries.
Agreements on health, transport, tourism and combating illegal migration.
Protocols: Cooperation between the Press General Secretariats of the two countries and state broadcasting foundations ERT and TRT, cooperation between meteorological institutes and others. (for details see capital.gr
It was the first visit of Antonis Samaras to Turkey.
More details on Samaras-Erdogan talks on issues like building of a mosque in Athens, the reopening of Theological Seminar in Chalki, the Exclusive Economic Zone and other ‘sensible’ issues between the two countries, probably tomorrow.