Greece and Turkey downplay divisions ahead of fresh Cyprus talks

20 June 2017
159 Views

Greece and Turkey put a territorial dispute in the Aegean on the back-burner in talks in Athens on Monday (19 June). The two countries’ prime ministers instead focused on their common commercial interests ahead of another round of UN-sponsored talks on Cyprus.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish counterpart Binali Yıldırım agreed to strengthen ties in tourism, transport and energy during talks held at the Greek leader’s official Athens residence.
The two countries are also working closely together on the TAP and Turkish Stream gas pipelines to carry gas into
Europe through Turkey.

But the leaders did not hide their differences over a territorial dispute in the Aegean when speaking to journalists after their meeting.

While focusing on deepening commercial ties, the two countries need to work on resolving the Aegean dispute, said Tsipras.

He claimed that Turkish violations of Greek airspace and territorial waters in the Aegean Sea had increased over the last nine months.

“The Aegean must remain a sea of peace and stability,” said Tsipras.
Turkish aeroplanes and helicopters illegally entered Greece’s airspace 141 times yesterday (15 May), the Hellenic National Defence General Staff reported.

But territorial violations had occurred on both sides, according to Yıldırım, who said it was best to focus on areas of agreement.

He thanked Tsipras for his support in Turkey’s bid to join the European Union while repeating his call for the EU to make good on its side of an agreement with Ankara to cut the flow of migrants from Turkish coasts into Europe.
Brussels had offered Turkey a three-billion euro package and a visa waiver for Turkish nationals if they helped migrants on Turkish soil so they did not move on into Europe.

Cyprus
The two leaders were cautious about upcoming talks on the thorny question of Cyprus, saying they hoped for a “fair and viable solution”.

The United Nations is leading a new international meeting on the subject in Switzerland on 28 June.
UN envoy Espen Barth Eide is pushing for a quick resolution of the question, calling the upcoming talks an “historic opportunity”.

Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov has reacted angrily to an article claiming that his country made efforts to spoil the Cyprus reunification deal, saying that attempts to shift the blame for the failure of talks are “both unfair and misleading”.

Guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom will also attend the conference, as will a representative of the European Union as an observer.

The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the north of the country in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.

“We are seeking to open the way to providing solutions,” Tsipras said of the upcoming talks.

Source: Euraktiv

You may be interested

Usain Bolt in Mykonos
GREECE
shares16 views
GREECE
shares16 views

Usain Bolt in Mykonos

Panos - Aug 21, 2017

Usain Bolt is in Mykonos soaking up the sun and sea after a demanding World Athletics Championships in London which…

Naxos Tavern Owner Finds Clever Way to Protest Against Heavy Taxes, Austerity
FINANCE
shares35 views
FINANCE
shares35 views

Naxos Tavern Owner Finds Clever Way to Protest Against Heavy Taxes, Austerity

Panos - Aug 21, 2017

A tavern owner on Naxos found an inventive way to protest against the heavy taxes and overall austerity imposed upon…

Russia Prepared to Supply Gas to Both Greece, Bulgaria if Necessary
FINANCE
shares48 views
FINANCE
shares48 views

Russia Prepared to Supply Gas to Both Greece, Bulgaria if Necessary

Panos - Aug 21, 2017

Russia is prepared to supply gas from the TurkStream pipeline to both Greece and Bulgaria if necessary, Russian Energy Minister…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.