Avramopoulos to seek common ground with Ankara

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (photo) is due in Ankara on Friday for talks with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu that are scheduled to focus on possible areas of bilateral cooperation but where recent Turkish press reports resurrecting claims of the existence of training camps for Kurdish terrorists in Greece may feature on the agenda.

According to sources, the two ministers are expected to assess progress on areas of bilateral cooperation agreed on in May 2010, following a visit by Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the sectors of the economy, immigration and energy.

The two men will also examine the potential for new agreements in several other areas, including trade, tourism, education and the environment, as well as the possible cooperation of the two countries’ police forces. Diplomatic sources told Kathimerini that more than 10 agreements are “ripe” for approval.

The outcome of Friday’s talks will determine which ministers will accompany Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on a scheduled visit to Ankara on March 4 and 5.

Earlier this week, the Turkish newspaper Aksam said Erdogan is planning to present Samaras with a file compiled by Turkish intelligence authorities with details of the alleged location of training camps for Kurdish terrorists in Greece and of the identities of suspected terrorists.

Greek diplomatic sources have expressed irritation at the way the matter has been pursued by Ankara.