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Papandreou and Gul determined to continue rapprochement
2003-10-21 11:01:01

by Gregoris Savva

Athens Oct 21 (CNA)--Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers George Papandreou and Abdullah Gul expressed here Tuesday their determination to continue rapprochement between the two countries.

Speaking on his arrival to Athens airport for an official two-day visit, Gul said that the two countries have an obvious and mutual intention to further develop their relations, while Papandreou said that Greece and Turkey are opening a new page in Greco-Turkish relations.

Gul and Papandreou will later on hold officials talks, during which they will discuss Cyprus question, the Greco-Turkish relations, the economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as issues regarding the Olympic Games in Athens. Gul will also sign the Olympic Truce.

Speaking to the press Papandreou said that Gul's visit proves the two countries? firm will to continue the road they have opened during the last years, ''the road of rapprochement, progress and the road of the solution of the important issues between the two countries''.

''We have opened a new page in Greco-Turkish relations. We have contributed to the reducing of the tension and established a new momentum to the efforts for the solution of important issues'', Papandreou noted.

He added if one makes an assessment of the steps taken so far in comparison with the last 40 years, it should be no surprise that important steps have been made.

''Step by step we have constructed greater trust between us'', Papandreou added, noting that in the past years the two countries? relations were relations of tension and mistrust.

Stating that the Greece and Turkey should learn from their past, Papandreou pointed out that ''we must install the basis on which the future generations of the two countries should live with peace and cooperation''.

In his remarks Gul said that Turkey and Greece will eventually resolve their problems in a peaceful and understanding manner, adding ''the determination of the two countries in this respect is obvious and mutual''.

He also added that the determination of the people of the two countries to turn the Mediterranean into a sea of peace and cooperation is encouraging the Turkish and the Greek Governments to follow the path they are now following.

The Turkish FM referred to the steps taken so far during various contacts between him and Papandreou such as demining, announced during their meeting in New York, on the sidelines of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly and pointed out that these measures will continue.

''When there is a desire and will from both sides, then there is a possibility to continue even further'', Gull added.

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