11 March, 2006
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said here on Friday that "Greece believes in Turkey's European prospects, with the preconditions and prerequisites which it must fulfill on the road for Europe".
Bakoyannis made the statement after her first official meeting with her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, on the sidelines of the informal meeting of the European Union's Foreign Ministers Council.
"We believe that our two peoples wish for us to have a very good and friendly relationship. We also believe that the Turkish people have a European future and during the course we will have a lot of work," said the Greek foreign minister who noted that during her meeting with Gul she had the opportunity to raise to her interlocutor the various issues of mutual interest.
The two foreign ministers termed their meeting as "constructive and useful" and stressed that many meetings will follow in the future.
Bakoyannis announced that she invited Gul to visit Athens soon.
"We will have many opportunities to meet. If not, we will create them," said the Turkish minister, noting that with his Greek counterpart "there is a relationship of mutual trust which will also give a new impetus in the relations between the two countries."
The twenty-minute meeting between the ministers preceded a meeting between the two delegations and was held in an exceptionally good climate.
According to diplomatic sources, the two sides confirmed their willingness for closer cooperation in the future, without going into details.
Bakoyannis was due to take part on Friday night in a discussion organized by the Austrian Television with the participation of five foreign ministers, including Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, on the topic of developments and prospects in the Balkans.
Saturday's agenda will focus on developments in the western Balkans, especially Kosovo's regime and a referendum for the independence in Montenegro.
Sessions will conclude on Saturday with discussion on an "Alliance of Civilizations" plan, which will be introduced by Gul.
Source: Athens News Agency