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Turkish foreign minister heralds meeting with Greek counterpart

Featured Turkish foreign minister heralds meeting with Greek counterpart

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced a meeting with Nikos Dendias in the coming weeks in order to start a Greek-Turkish dialogue.

"There is a window of opportunity for a better dialogue with Greece now. We plan to meet in the coming weeks with the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, who is personally a very good friend of mine," he said during a news conference with his Portuguese counterpart, Augusto Santos Silva.

After opening up to France, Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey is ready to open a new page in its relations with the EU, adding that the Portuguese presidency is a window of opportunity for his country due to Portugal's "balanced, objective stance" on the current issues between Turkey and the Union. He noted that the two sides should not only focus on the problems in their relations, but also on other areas such as the refugee agreement. "We have to revive this agreement because immigration is an ongoing problem and because of the pandemic, it looks like it will continue for years. Therefore, we must continue our cooperation ", said Cavusoglu. He added that "the modernization of the Customs Union agreement and visa liberalization is something that the EU has promised. And in the coming meetings, we want to see clear steps from the European Union in these areas."

Cavusoglu took a hard line on the Cyprus issue, arguing that Turkey supported all initiatives for a lasting solution, but all of them were rejected by the Greek Cypriots. "Turkey is in favor of a fair distribution of resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Unfortunately, for many years now, some EU Member States, some Eastern Mediterranean countries, including Greece, and some Greek Cypriots have ignored the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. They excluded Turkey from all initiatives and Turkey was very patient. But recently, it was forced to start its own activities within areas of its legal continental shelf," he said, adding that negotiations to find a federal solution to the Cyprus problem would be a waste of time, as has been the case for 52 years.