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Politics: PM, Erdogan hold talks in Erzurum

Δημοσίευση 8 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:33 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: PM, Erdogan hold talks in Erzurum
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Bilateral relations, including air space violations above Greek islands by the Turkish military and illegal migration issues, were discussed during a meeting between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish city of Erzurum on Friday.

Bilateral relations, including air space violations above Greek islands by the Turkish military and illegal migration issues, were discussed during a meeting between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish city of Erzurum on Friday.

The two premiers held two hours of private talks over a working breakfast in the northeast Anatolian city, before they were joined by Greek and Turkish foreign ministers Dimitris Droutsas and Ahmet Davutoglu, respectively. Papandreou was in Erzurum to address a Turkish ambassadors’ conference, alongside Erdogan, following a formal invitation.

Diplomatic sources said that the talks between Erdogan and Papandreou focused mainly on the problems caused by Turkish military plane flights above the Aegean, while migration issues were touched on after the meeting was joined by Droutsas and Davutoglu. They stressed that the meeting in Erzurum did not aim to make decisions on specific issues, such as that of the Aegean continental shelf that is currently being discussed in exploratory talks between the two sides, but to create a framework for promoting good relations between Greece and Turkey through the mechanisms already set up, such as the High-Level Cooperation Council whose next meeting will prepare for an upcoming visit by Davutoglu to Athens in March.

After the meeting, which lasted longer than initially planned, the two prime ministers were also due to inaugurate the Erzurum Stadium that will host the upcoming World University Games (Universiade), in which university athletic teams from 75 countries will compete.

Afterwards, Papandreou will address the third annual Turkish ambassadors’ conference, entitled "Visionary Diplomacy: Global and Regional Order from Turkey’s Perspective". The meeting, which will also be addressed by Erdogan, is chaired by Foreign Minister Davutoglu and attended by 180 Turkish diplomats serving abroad and at the country's foreign ministry. The week-long session opened in Ankara on Monday and will continue in Erzurum.

The purpose of the conference is coordination of the ambassadors representing Turkey abroad, as well as an exchange of views between technocrats and the political authority.

Papandreou's presence is considered of particular significance, according to Turkish commentators.

The invitation to Papandreou reciprocates the Greek premier's invitation two months earlier to Erdogan to attend an international environmental meeting in Athens.

In statements to Turkey's Anadolu news agency on Friday, the Turkish foreign minister stressed that the fact that Papandreou and Droutsas will address the Turkish ambassadors' conference was "historic" and proof of the high level of relations between the two countries.

"Turkey always responds to sincere intentions of friendship, and when it is approached in such a way. That is our policy in the Balkans and the Middle East," he added.