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Alternate Foreign Minister Xydakis holds farewell meeting with outgoing Turkish Ambassador K. Uras

Friday, 23 September 2016

Alternate Minister for European Affairs, N. Xydakis, received today the outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Greece, Kerim Uras, in a farewell meeting, during which the refugee and migrant issues as well as visa-free access for Turkish citizens were discussed.

On the refugee and migrant issue, the Alternate Minister expressed his satisfaction for the fact that the EU-Turkey Statement is still in force, although refugee flows are not down to zero, particularly after the coup.  The Ambassador of Turkey, for his part, stated that ‘we must convince the refugees that the agreement is in force’, which, as a result, would signify they are staying in Turkey.

As to visa liberalisation, Mr. Xydakis told the Turkish Ambassador that Greece is ready to provide all sorts of possible "know-how" so that Turkey eventually meets the criteria. Mr. Uras expressed his satisfaction about the continuation of the pilot program granting visa-free travel access to citizens of Turkey to the islands of the N.E. Aegean during the summer tourist season.

Mr. Uras’ successor will be the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, Haliç Çevik, who had previously been posted in Athens and has also served as Director General for Political Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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