‘Coexistence in Kosovo, dialogue with Turkey,’ urges minister

That is another reason to resolve the issues that are pending in the region. Kosovo is a difficult question that above all will call for unity within the European Union. It is a European issue and it is a myth to believe that it can be resolved by third parties. We have said that the solution should not result in the humiliation of either of the two sides. That is why it requires respect for the particular problems involved and determination to solve it. My view for the broader region is that the only route is coexistence between different ethnic groups, religions and cultures. There are other views that I simply do not share. This coexistence is feasible under the larger European umbrella, through stability, security and the democratic guarantee provided by the European family. That is the objective, it is not a carrot, it is a vision. It will take a lot of work, there will be backsliding and bad days but we should not lose sight of the vision. There has been a period of inactivity in Greek-Turkish relations because of the elections in both countries. Can we expect developments in the near future? We are expecting a visit from Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, whom I had the opportunity to meet in New York, when I reiterated the Greek government’s position. We want a deeper dialogue with Turkey, we want to move forward. Of course, both of us need to, one of us is not enough. I still believe that 2008 offers both countries a window of opportunity, with two new strong governments with recent popular mandates. Of course, I do not underestimate the problems each side might have, nor the priority each gives to foreign policy issues. I believe that Turkey wants to remain on course for European Union membership. That is what Greece also wants, on the condition, of course, that this is translated into those changes and reforms that are necessary.