NEWS

Efforts to reduce tension in Aegean

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he would suggest to his country’s armed forces that they and their Greek counterparts submit flight plans to each other. «I will tell our armed forces to look into informing not only NATO but also the Greek side, so that we can brief each other,» Erdogan told Greek newspaper editors at a breakfast in Athens. The statement appeared to be a response to comments by Prime Minister George Papandreou at a joint press conference on Friday. Papandreou had referred to Turkish violations of Greek air space, noting that if Turkey submitted flight plans to Greece, there would be no problem. Erdogan also called on Athens to disarm its fighter jets in the Aegean, saying Ankara had done so. The Turkish premier said his visit, during which 21 pacts were signed, had boosted bilateral ties. «I believe 2010 will go down in history. Our countries showed the political will not only to be neighbors but also partners,» he said.