In a recent interview with the Hürriyet Daily, Greek Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos expressed his belief that Greece and Turkey were on their way to improving their relationship and eliminating the long history of tension between the two nations. He said that bettering the countries' relationship could have a beneficial and stabilizing effect on the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Venizelos stated that the High Level Cooperation Council meetings between Greece and Turkey had been going well; the second of these meetings was held in March 2013. The representatives from Greece and Turkey were able to negotiate in a civilized manner, and discussed ways to improve bilateral cooperation.
The Deputy Prime Minister also said that it would be in Turkey's best interest to continue communication with Greece, in regard to Turkey's bid for entrance into the European Union.
The two major issues Greece and Turkey will have to confront are Cyprus and minority problems. At this time, the Prime Minister said, Greek Cypriots are waiting for a positive response from Turkish Cypriots to proposals made by Cypriot President Nicos Anastatides for confidence-building measures and the opening of Famagust.
Mr. Venizelos expressed his hope that Turkey would finally implement the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and normalize its relations with Cyprus; this, in turn, would benefit Turkey's accession into the EU and Greek-Turkish relations.
Overall, Venizelos is hopeful that these issues can be resolved, and that Greece and Turkey can set off on beneficial bilateral relationship that would help not only both countries involved, but also the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean.
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