Turkey's PM Erdogan heads to Greece

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left for Greece on a two-day formal visit on Friday.

Turkey's PM Erdogan heads to Greece

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left for Greece on a two-day formal visit on Friday.

Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis, State Minister Zafer Caglayan and Justice & Development (AK) Party deputy chairman Omer Celik also left for Greece.

Erdogan, who will be accompanied by ten ministers, will hold meetings with state and government officials in Athens.

Erdogan said Thursday his visit to Athens was important as the two friendly countries were about to establish a High Level Cooperation Council.

In an interview conducted by the Greek State Television NET, Erdogan said that the current problems experienced by Greece were not permanent.

I believe that Greece will overcome its (economic) problems. We went through similar problems in the beginning of the 1990s and in 2001 but overcame them in a determined fashion, Erdogan said.

I will visit Athens with a group of ministers and businesspeople. The businesspeople of the two countries can discuss ways of cooperation while our ministers can decide on fields in which to cooperate, Erdogan said.

Our ministers will get together two or three times every year while the prime ministers will meet each other at least once every year. The most important topic we are going to discuss in Athens is tourism, Erdogan said.

Touching on the Aegean Sea, Erdogan said that this sea should not be one separating the two countries.

Let us make the Aegean a sea that unites us, Erdogan said.

Once the Aegean becomes a sea of peace, neither Turkey nor Greece will look at the other side with suspicions, Erdogan underlined.

In response to a question on the flights of fighter jets over the Aegean Sea, Erdogan said that if those fighter jets have to fly over the Aegean, then they should do so without carrying any missiles or weapons.

If those jets do not carry any weapons, they will be jets of peace. If we can succeed in this matter, we can also succeed in minimizing spending on defense, Erdogan said.

In regard to Greece's financial crisis, Erdogan said that a new government was established in Greece recently.

If the Greeks can be patient, Greece will overcome the crisis, Erdogan said.

Turkey is in solidarity with Greece. We have to help each other during this process, Erdogan also said.

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Last Mod: 14 Mayıs 2010, 11:02
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