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George Panapndreou visits Turkey

Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, was received on Wednesday by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who expressed the need of support for the strengthening of the two countries cooperation. Gul, underlined the importance of the agreements received in Athens during the recent visit of the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and referred to the “very good relations” between Greek and Turkish entrepreneurs. Finally, Gul thanked Athens for the assistance provided to Turkey in its course toward the EU and underlined Turkey’s will to reciprocate by supporting Greece to deal with the ongoing economic crisis. The Turkish president told Papandreou that “Turkey had faced similar problems in 2001, possibly even tougher ones, because it did not have the European support but managed to overcome them.”
Papandreou meets Erdogan in Istanbul
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the further boosting of Greek-Turkish relations in talks he held with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Istanbul on Wednesday, on the sidelines of a SouthEast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit. Erdogan mentioned the importance of the implementation of the agreements signed during his visit to Athens last May and the utilisation of the economic possibilites and opportunities appearing. Papandreou said after the meeting that discussed among other things were the latest developments on the Gaza blockade and that he had the opportunity of presenting Erdogan with the decisions taken by the Socialist International (SI) unanimously two days ago and in which both the Israelis and Palestinians are represented. Erdogan also referred to concern being created in Turkey by the latest upsurge in violence with the attacks by the PKK and the bombing acts taking place in big cities in Turkey.
Erdogan also assured Papandreou that Turkey will implement the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights and will return to the Ecumenical Patriarchate the historic building of the Principos orphanage. The Turkish prime minister had already announced last August that Turkey will implement unequivocally the court’s decision and reiterated this position on Wednesday during his meeting with Papandreou in Istanbul.
Lastly, the Greek prime minister also held a private meeting with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
SEECP summit
Speaking after the summit of Southeast European countries, the Greek premier said that “I had the opportunity of stressing again our country’s initiative on the accession course of the Western Balkans in 2014, as well as to stress that Greece is the most steadfast, the most reliable partner in the effort for the incorporation of the region in the European family.” The prime minister described the region’s incorporation in the European Union as “a process that secures and creates a new momentum in solving important political issues, that still exist in the region of the Balkans, and that permits us, particularly now, in this economic crisis to cooperate more closely, to utilise opportunities for the development of our economies so that we can secure security and prosperity for our citizens.”

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