30 January, 2008
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' official visit here last week as "extremely useful" for the development of bilateral relations and the deepening of dialogue aiding cooperation between the two neighbors.
Speaking to his ruling AKP party's Parliamentary group, Erdogan noted that "we must accept that there are certain historical problems between Turkey and Greece, but the era when such problems were magnified has passed…”
“Both countries must trust themselves and the other,” he said, noting that his talks with Karamanlis allowed for the one-by-one examination of problems.
“We weren’t satisfied with just this, however, and we found the opportunity to discuss what we can do jointly, the principles we can create together … we agreed to sidestep the problematic area(s) and to move to the non-problematic area, and at the same time to make an effort for the problem area,” he said.
The Turkish prime minister added that both countries must realise that the other is not a threat but an “opportunity”.
“Economic, trade, tourism and energy cooperation are the most attractive fruits of peace and dialogue,” he concluded.
Source: Athens News Agency