27 February, 2008
Greek Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas met with Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan on Tuesday during a visit to Turkey. Sioufas is in Istanbul to participate in a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC), which Greece presides over this period.
"This is a good period for Greek-Turkish relations for three reasons: our countries have new Parliaments, new governments and new Parliament presidents and this is therefore a time for the Parliaments to begin a new period of cooperation, friendship and good neighborhood ties," he said in statements after the meeting.
He also noted that the successful visit to Turkey by a Greek prime minister after an interval of 50 years marked the start of a new era.
"Greece, as Turkey's neighbor and a friendly country and ally, supports its European course," Sioufas added.
Toptan thanked his Greek counterpart for Greece's support of Turkey's effort to join the European Union and stressed that relations between the two countries continued to be positive in recent years, especially after the meetings between the two premiers.
Pointing out that this was the 15th anniversary to the day since the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly first assembled in 1993, Sioufas noted that it was "significant" that the anniversary coincided with Greece's presidency.
"During these 15 years, the Parliaments have decisively contributed to support the governments of the Black Sea member-states in cooperation, growth and peace in the wider region. We agreed with Mr. Koksal Toptan that in the next 15 years and more, the Parliaments of the 12 member-states will operate more actively, more decisively and with greater and closer cooperation on all levels," Sioufas added.
Source: Athens News Agency