Greek PM in Turkey says Cyprus issue should be resolved

Greek Premier and Foreign Minister George Papandreou visited the Fener Greek Patriarch Friday.

Greek PM in Turkey says Cyprus issue should be resolved

Greek Premier and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is visiting Turkey, said bilateral relations "should be based on respect to borders and territorial integrity of the other."

Papandreou who visited the Fener Greek Patriarch Friday, said these were the basis for good neighbourly relations noting that him and the late Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem worked hard a decade ago and opened up a new era in Greek-Turkish relations.

Papandreou said he was known by Turkish people as an honest person through thick and thin.

"10 years ago Turkey became a candidate for EU membership... and again 10 years ago, together we struggled with the terrible earthquake disasters that befell Greek and Turkish nations," said Papandreou.

Greek Premier said the Cyprus issue should be resolved.

"We need to save Cyprus from its dependencies; from separation and walls which have no place in the EU. We need to settle our differences through peaceful debates and within international laws. If we work really hard to succeed, this will be a message to the whole world. This will be a message for peace," said Papendreu.

Later he proceeded to the Zincirlikuyu to visit the grave of his fellow colleague Ismail Cem, where he was welcomed by Cem's wife and son.

He later put an olive branch to Cem's grave, cut of from the olive tree planted in Greece a decade ago by Cem and Papandreou to symbolise peace.

Late Minister's wife Elcin Cem described the scene as "the reunion of two statesmen whom worked hard for peace and were fond of each other."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Cem's contribution to the Turkish-Greek friendship would grow into the future, regarding Papandreou's visit as a very nice gesture.


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Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2009, 17:54
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