“We have the opportunity to continue the sincere dialogue we began in December 2017 and to restart our positive agenda from the point we left it,” underlined Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Anadolu News Agency, one day before his official visit to Turkey and his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Tsipras also noted that his relationship with Erdogan is based on respect, sincerity and honesty.
“We must build a relationship of mutual respect that is based on international law, for the benefit of our peoples and the surrounding region,” said Tsipras. “Turkey and Greece have proved, for the first time in 2015-2016, that they can cooperate in addressing major international challenges, such as the refugee crisis. In this framework I visited Turkey three times and we collaborated for the EU-Turkey Statement, the strengthening of Euro-Turkish strategic cooperation and the promotion of NATO’s action in the Aegean, which resulted in the drastic reduction of migration flows and especially of the deaths in the Aegean Sea. We promoted cooperation in the energy sector with the TAP pipeline and with the discussion on the extension of the Turkish Stream pipeline to Europe, we initiated the procedures for the start of a Thessaloniki-Izmir sea route, the Istanbul-Thessaloniki railway link and the improvement of the Kipi-Ipsala crossing, while we put the development of trade and investments on the negotiating table once again,” said Tsipras.
Asked about the resumption of talks on the Cyprus issue, Tsipras reiterated that “we must steadily seek a just and viable solution based on UN Treaties, since the only solution is the reunification of the island in this framework. A solution that will allow a federal Cyprus Republic to be a normal EU member-state and operate for the benefit of all Cypriots, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”