Greek foreign minister marks 'genuine willingness' both in Türkiye, Greece to boost ties


Dec 7, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

Voicing optimism on Thursday over the settlement of any future tensions between Greece and Türkiye, the Greek foreign minister observed "a genuine willingness" between the neighboring countries to boost bilateral ties.

In an interview with Greek public broadcaster ERT following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Athens on Thursday, George Gerapetritis said, "There is a genuine willingness of the two countries to move forward in our relationship."

"The time has come for us to have another understanding. We are neighboring countries united by geography," he said, adding that the two countries should put aside the differences that exist and focus on factors uniting them.

"Today is a historical day, as manifested by the declaration on friendly relations and good neighborliness which highlights what unites us."

He added that he is optimistic that the two countries can better handle any possible tension in the future.

"There can be tensions but they should not stop the course of productive relations," Gerapetritis said.

He also said that the only major dispute between the two NATO allies is the delimitation of the economic exclusive zone and the maritime boundaries of the continental shelf.

"We all understand that our big difference, the only difference, which can be brought before international justice, is the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. It's a difference that goes back decades. I feel that when the conditions are ripe, we can come to grips with this difference as well," he said.

Türkiye and Greece on Thursday announced the Athens declaration on friendly relations and good neighborliness on the occasion of Erdoğan's official visit to the Greek capital.

Accordingly, the two countries stressed that they are committed to fostering friendly relations, mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, understanding, and seeking resolution to any dispute between them in line with international law, among other things.

Greece also announced that it will offer a facilitated visa scheme for Turkish citizens up to seven days in 10 Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean.

Moreover, one agreement, seven memorandums of understanding, and seven joint declarations covering different fields were also signed between the Turkish and Greek delegations as part of the fifth meeting of the Türkiye-Greece High-Level Cooperation Council.

Anadolu Agency