Thursday April 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
21o C
15o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek, Turkish ministers discuss Cyprus, minority issues

Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu met in Athens on Friday for talks that focused on the forthcoming launch of a new round of peace talks on divided Cyprus and on thorny bilateral issues including Ankara's insistence on the existence of a Turkish minority in Thrace.

At a joint press conference, Venizelos reiterated that Athens does not recognize a Turkish state in northern Cyprus and emphasized that any proposed Cyprus solution must be ratified by the Cypriot people in a referendum.

Davutoglu said Turkey was willing to contribute to a solution on Cyprus, as one of the island's guarantor powers. He also broached Ankara's claims regarding a Turkish minority in Thrace, in northern Greece. "The issue of our minorities must be regarded as an opportunity, a bridge that can unite our two peoples," he said.

The two men also discussed illegal immigration, Greece's forthcoming assumption of the European Union's rotating six-month presidency and areas of potential bilateral cooperation as well as issues of religious freedom.

Davutoglou spoke of very beneficial cooperation between Greece and Turkey, noting that 27 bilateral agreements had been signed in three years while Venizelos pointed to "massive potential" to the development of bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector.

As regards Greece's presidency of the EU, Davutoglu said it was very significant for Ankara in view of Turkey's "European prospects," adding that the signing of a pact for the repatriation of illegal immigrants would speed up the process toward accession.

The issue of religious freedom figured high on the agenda of talks too. Asked by a Kathimerini reporter about Ankara's stated intentions to turn the Aghia Sofia Orthodox Church in Istanbul into a mosque, and questioned about Ankara's insistence on seeking to speak for Muslims in Thrace, Davutoglu skirted the issue, claiming that "Ankara honors international laws in all such matters."

Speaking on the same issue, Venizelos noted that the protection of all monasteries of global cultural significance are the obligation of member states of the United Nations and UNESCO.

On plans for a mosque in Athens, which are back on track after the Greek government announced last month that a consortium has been chosen to undertake the job, Venizelos said he looked forward to the swift completion of an important project which is necessary for Muslims in Greece to be able to exercise their religious duties. Davutoglu welcomed the acceleration of the mosque project.

Earlier, Davutoglu met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who told the Turkish envoy that he and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had agreed, in a recent telephone conversation, on the importance of maintaining the "positive momentum" in the improvement of bilateral ties.

ekathimerini.com , Friday December 13, 2013 (13:39)  
Suspect in student´s stabbing alleged to have threatened other pupils
Greeks are the EU´s unhappiest workers, report finds
Injured American tourist taken off life support, said to be ´awake and alert´
Teen boy arrested in Thessaloniki drug bust
PPC to sell 500 mln euros of 3- and 5-year bonds
Greece's state-controlled electricity firm PPC confirmed on Thursday it would sell bonds worth 500 million euros ($691 million). The notes will be a combination of three- and five-year bonds...
Greece´s NBG launches 5-year bond to raise up to 750 mln euros
Greece's largest bank National Bank (NBG) will issue a 5-year, fixed-rate bond to raise up to 750 million euros ($1.04 billion) and boost its liquidity, the bank said in a stock market filin...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Never underestimate the Greek hoopsters
Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who between them have won the last three European crowns, won again at home on Wednesday to take their Euroleague play-off series with Real Madrid and CSKA Mosc...
BASKETBALL
Reds and Greens stay alive in Euroleague
Easter – and home advantage – worked wonders for Panathinaikos and Olympiakos who stayed alive in the Euroleague play-offs beating CSKA and Real Madrid respectively on Monday in Greece. Shak...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Putting the party above the country
The case of Sabiha Suleiman, the Roma activist whose candidacy for the European Parliament was announced by SYRIZA only to be withdrawn shortly afterward, is an illustration of the leftist o...
EDITORIAL
Strong card in debt talks
Achieving a primary surplus and having it confirmed by the European statistical agency, Eurostat, is a significant success for Greece. There is no doubt that it came at a heavy price for a l...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Suspect in student´s stabbing alleged to have threatened other pupils
2. Greeks are the EU´s unhappiest workers, report finds
3. PPC to sell 500 mln euros of 3- and 5-year bonds
4. Injured American tourist taken off life support, said to be ´awake and alert´
5. Teen boy arrested in Thessaloniki drug bust
6. European court awards damages for ´degrading´ migrant detention conditions
more news
Today
This Week
1. Putting the party above the country
2. Three missing from cargo ship that went down off Crete
3. Strong card in debt talks
4. Central Athens cleanup a sign of Greece's turnaround
5. Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
6. Police on high alert for Greek Cup final in Athens on Saturday
Today
This Week
1. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
2. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Government looks to kick on
5. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
6. EU struggles to unpick the knot of Russia-Ukraine gas logistics
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.