Greek Foreign Minister G. Gerapetritis, who will visit Turkey for talks with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, said preparations have begun for the planned meeting in New York between President Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis.

Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, who will visit Turkey tomorrow to meet with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, said that as two ministers they are preparing the ground for the planned meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Nea York.

Answering questions from the AA correspondent before his visit to Turkey, Mr. Gerapetritis stated that President Erdogan and Mr. Mitsotakis met in a positive atmosphere within the framework of the NATO Summit held in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the two leaders decided to bring Turkey and Greece back to the path of compromise.

“I will visit Turkey on the one hand to prepare the ground together with my counterpart for the meeting of our leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which will confirm the intention of cooperation between our countries, on the other hand to prepare the organization of the first session of the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) which will be held after 7 years in Thessaloniki next December”, he said.

“Implementation of the (positive) agenda will bring significant economic benefits to both sides,” he said.

The Greek minister stated that the positive agenda between Turkey and Greece is aimed at the revitalization of economic and trade cooperation between Turkey and Greece and extends to areas of cooperation in the business community, such as transport, shipping, technology, environmental protection and dealing with natural disasters, as in the specific example of the formalization of the cooperation between “Enterprise Greece” and “Invest in Turkey”.

G. Gerapetritis continued, saying: “The implementation of the (positive) agenda will bring significant economic benefits to both sides.

Suffice it to mention here, for example, that the volume of trade between our two countries reached 5.4 billion euros in 2022, however, apart from the obvious economic benefits, the implementation of the positive agenda also keeps the dialogue between us alive. This dialogue is the only real tool for achieving progress in our relations and advancing the national interests of both sides.

Honest relations between the two new ministers

Mr. Gerapetritis stated that he and Fidan have established a very good personal relationship based on mutual understanding and honesty and that they are in regular contact in a way that allows direct and constructive cooperation.

He emphasized that the direct communication channel at a high level allows for the rapid resolution of crises and that this fact also provides a solid basis for talks between the officials of the two countries at all levels.

Meeting of leaders

Gerapetritis, pointing out that the regular meetings between President Erdogan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis have both strong symbolism and essential content, said: “On the one hand, the two leaders confirm the results of the political dialogue, the positive agenda and confidence-building measures, and on the other hand, they give general instructions to continue the talks.

I consider it very important that the intergovernmental talks, conducted under the responsibility and accountability of the two foreign ministers, are on the agenda of the regular meetings of the leaders of the two countries. It is an important message for our people that the heads of government are the first to send the message of good cooperation and mutual understanding”.

Goals that will ensure mutual benefit
G. Gerapetritis noted that Turkey and Greece can set goals that will bring common benefits in areas such as tourism and transport, he additionally emphasized that the benefits of cooperation in these areas between the two neighboring countries will be very large and they will not be limited to the economy only.

“This is why tourism and transport are leading the positive agenda,” he said.

A new perspective on problem solving

The Greek minister spoke about the current problems between the two countries as follows:

“I believe that the new perspective that should be adopted to solve the problems that have not been resolved in bilateral relations for years is that priority should be given to establishing a relationship of honesty and trust between the two countries. The dialogue process, for which efforts are being made to proceed step by step, can be successful only on this condition.

This process will be led by foreign ministers, always with full respect for the principles of international law, and will be reflected in political dialogue, a positive agenda and confidence-building measures. In this way, in order to achieve useful and specific results, there will be continuous monitoring, common approach and high responsibility”.

Interaction between peoples

Stating that Greece also wishes to increase the interaction between the two peoples, Mr Gerapetritis stressed that members of the two peoples can coexist in daily life without facing difficulties.

Mr. Gerapetritis stated that the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the two countries each year from one side to the other are proof of this: “Furthermore, on the occasion of the tragic losses faced by Greece and Turkey in 2023, it was once again shown that the two peoples always maintain a human interest in each other.