NEWS

Turkish FM in first visit to Athens

In his first official visit to Greece today, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will be briefed on the progress of the country’s Olympics preparations and chided on Greek air space violations by Turkish military aircraft, Athens said yesterday. Foreign Minister George Papandreou said Gul’s visit was part of an established cycle of meetings. «We exchange visits every six months,» he told journalists during a visit to Barcelona. «I believe this fact alone points to the changing relationship that is being built between our two countries.» Papandreou said he would discuss with Gul a series of bilateral agreements on low-policy issues such as illegal immigration, culture and security – as well as the thorny question of Cyprus. Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said Gul would start his two-day visit with a helicopter trip over Olympic venues, followed by a meeting with Athens 2004 chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. He said Papandreou would also bring up «Turkish [air force] behavior in the Aegean… which undermines the good mood both countries are trying to build.»