ND leader: Greek and Turkish peoples must learn to coexist in harmony

ATHENS, GREECE - DECEMBER 07: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) meets with President of New Democracy Party Kyriakos Mitsotakis (2nd L) in Athens, Greece on December 07, 2017. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces Hulusi Akar (2nd R) also attended the meeting. (Photo by Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Greek and Turkish peoples are fated to live next to each other geographically, and must reach as peaceful and productive a coexistence as possible, said main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday, following a 45-minute meeting with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Athens.

“The Greek and the Turkish peoples are fated by geography to live next to one another,” Mitsotakis said. “The self-evident mission of their leadership is to guarantee a coexistence that is as harmonious, peaceful and productive as possible, to the benefit of both peoples.”

In addition, large global and regional challenges like terrorism and migration flows make Greece and Turkey’s collaboration even more urgent. “This however requires responsibility, the application of wisdom and goodwill, away from behaviors and statements that encourage nationalism and populism,” the ND leader said.

Mitsotakis said that casting doubt on law and acknowledging history selectively was not helpful, and called on Greek-Turkish relations to restart.

“As I said to (President) Erdogan, in a sincere exchange of views we held, I stressed that his visit to Thrace must improve relations between the two countries, rather than disturb them.”

Erdogan, who arrived in Greece on Thursday, is scheduled to visit Thrace on Friday before departing for Turkey.