Ankara and Athens are for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, complicating for many years the relations between the two countries. This was stated by President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after a meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, February 5.
The main areas in which the two countries plan to cooperate more actively, are the fight against terrorism, the solution of the conflict over Northern Cyprus and development of mineral resources in the Aegean sea.
“Despite the fact that our relationship happened at times undesirable situation, we found ways to make this work,” — said Erdogan at a press conference in Ankara. Tsipras, in turn, described the meeting as “honest and effective” and expressed the hope that it will help Turkey and Greece to break out of the “vicious circle of crises .”
The fight against terrorism and illegal migration
One of the important topics of dialogue between the leaders was the fight against terrorism. In particular, Erdogan expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that Greece has taken eight Turkish soldiers who had fled the country after a failed attempt of a military coup in 2016. Three of them have already been in Greece for political asylum, others have also expected a positive decision.
According to Erdogan, he would like to see this issue from Greece readiness for more intensive cooperation. In response, Tsipras said that “Greek justice decided that should honor every legal state”.
Another item on the agenda was the question of the struggle against uncontrolled migration. Despite the agreement on refugees between Ankara and the EU in 2018 40 500 people managed to cross illegally from Turkey to Greece.
Gas production in the Aegean sea
Another reason for differences between the two countries is the issue of the rights of development of gas fields off the coast of Cyprus. Turkey prevents the extraction of Greece minerals in the waters of the Aegean sea as long as both countries do not resolve the conflict over the division of the island to the Greek part (Republic of Cyprus) and Turkish (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). After talks in Ankara both parties have supported application of the “constructive measures” to ease tension and agreed to develop a special “action plan”.
Tsipras will stay in Turkey until February 6. This is his second visit to Turkey as head of the Greek government. Erdogan’s trip to Greece in 2017 became the first Turkish President’s visit to this country for 65 years. Then Erdogan unexpectedly offered to revise the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, in which Greece had previously belonged to the Turks Islands in the Aegean sea and stated that “discrimination” the Athens of the Muslim population in Northern Greece.