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Greece-Turkey: Enhanced Cooperation between Neighbours

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on December 13. They discussed a series of issues and after their meeting Venizelos stated that he had briefed Davutoglou on Greece's EU presidency priorities, in the first half of 2014. He added that before the next meeting of the Greece-Turkey High-level Cooperation Council, set for September 2014, great opportunities open up for promoting cooperation between the two countries in economy, tourism and sustainable energy resources.

Concerning the Cyprus issue, Venizelos focused on the efforts of the President of Cyprus Republic Nicos Anastasiades to forge a new generation of confidence-building measures and reiterated that any solution should observe United Nations resolutions, the European Union acquis, and be voted by the Cyprus people in a referendum.

Referring to Hagia Sophia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar, Venizelos stressed that the Patriarchate was an international and not Turkish institution, which defined the Orthodox faith and Christianity as a whole.

On his part, Ahmet Davutoglu pointed out that Greek and Turkish relations were on positive ground; the two countries signed 27 bilateral agreements within four years; economic exchanges between the two worth $5 billion, while individual Turkish businessmen daily sign agreements to do business in Greece.

Following their meeting, Venizelos and Davutoglu jointly inaugurated the new premises of the Turkish Embassy in Greece. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras received Turkish Foreign Minister at his offices on Friday.

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