17122017Headline:

PM Tsipras: Relations of trust and cooperation between Greece and Turkey could benefit both countries

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcoming the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed his certainty on Monday that the relations of trust and cooperation between Greece and Turkey could benefit the peoples of both countries.

Tsipras noted that Yildirim’s visit to Athens is taking place in an interesting period for the relations between the two countries, the developments in the wider region and the Euro-Turkish relations. “At our last meeting in Smyrna, a very broad, positive agenda in the relations of the two countries opened and we must start again the efforts to build trust as well as the relationship of cooperation because it is our firm conviction that these relations of trust and cooperation can be to the benefit of both peoples,” he underlined.

“Certainly there are challenges ahead of us,” added the Greek Prime Minister, who noted that the two countries had difficulties in the last period but, as good neighbours, none of them (countries) tried to take advantage of the difficult times of the other.

“In difficult times, neighbours must support each other and this is what we are doing,” said Tsipras.

Moreover, he stressed the need for both countries to address in a positive way the issues and challenges and said: “I am looking forward to the opportunity to dealing with significant challenges in a constructive way in the next few years and to approach the issues that have remained open for decades with boldnesshave in order to solve them. I am also looking forward to dealing with them in a positive way as both of us are civil engineers and can approach our arguments in a constructive way and attitude in order to find a solution.”

“The fact that we are in the same geographical area means that we share the same fate,” the Turkish Prime Minister said adding: “There are issues that need to be confronted with reason, calmness and in the best possible way. We know the problems Greece is facing, we also have problems, especially in our southern borders with Syria where a civil war is raging for years, and I believe that the problems that arise from such situations can be solved with solidarity and good will in order to find a solution to help each other in the best possible way.”

The Turkish Prime Minister expressed his conviction the opportunities that could open through the two countries’ cooperation can be much more than the existing problems.

“We should focus on the opportunities ahead of us and see what we will do with the challenges we have to face, which I believe, in a broad time frame we will be able to resolve through understanding, good neighbourliness, dialogue and justice. I agree with you, we are both civil engineers and in this respect we have a very realistic, a positive way of approaching the problems, we can analyse the coordinates and find the necessary solution. I believe that the prejudices or misconceptions on certain issues must not prevent us from moving ahead and dealing with the existing challenges. I hope that the current visit will help develop our relations, both trade and human relations.”