Commissioner Avramopoulos expresses pleasure over Erdogan’s visit to Greece

EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos expressed his pleasure over a planned visit by Turkey’s President Tayyip Recep Erdogan to Greece. It will be the first visit by a Turkish president to Greece in more than 65 years.

Avramopoulos was speaking late on Monday at the 8th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul.

“However, these visits should be routine visits. Greece and Turkey, and above all, Europe and Turkey have a long history and have shared times of peaceful coexistence and conflicts. Our future is still intertwined,” he said.

Avramopoulos expressed confidence that “Turkey will continue its European course and will come closer to Europe… not only geopolitically, but also in terms of its fundamental principles. These principles are already embedded in the Turkish Constitution.”

The EU Commissioner stressed the need for stability, peace, security and prosperity throughout the world, based on human rights, freedom and the rule of law. It is, he said, “a continuous battle that we should give together. Nothing should be taken for granted.”

“Stability, prosperity, the rule of law, freedom – the cornerstones of our modern democracies – can only be achieved through alliances and cooperation, across borders and among nations,” the European Commissioner said and added: “The truth is that we all need each other to more effectively address the challenges of migration and terrorism, but also to bring peace and stability to the world.”

He admitted that the EU was unprepared for the challenges of migration and security, as only a few states had experience in these areas.

“Today, however, we are in a much better shape compared to three years ago. We have limited the ability of terrorists to move, train, access finance, weapons and explosives, and have strengthened the management of our external borders. We now have the European Border Guard and Coast Guard and we will soon have a European Entry and Exit System, as well as ETIAS that is equivalent to the US ESTA system,” he added.