15 July, 2003
ISTANBUL 15/07/03 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)
Foreign Minister George Papandreou held prolonged talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Monday and said afterwards the Greek government has a positive outlook on reforms taking place in Turkey.
Papandreou added that the reforms are not only necessitated by the need of convergence with the European Union, but have been adopted by Turkish society and the Turkish government.
The Greek foreign minister further said he and Gul discussed developments in Cyprus, issues concerning bilateral relations and developments in Iraq.
Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday gave a joint lecture with former Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem on the Cyprus issue at Istanbul's Bilgi University.
Papandreou referred to the course of Greek-Turkish relations over the past three years and the experience of his cooperation with former Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem in particular.
He explained that the Greek government is adopting a new policy towards Turkey, one encouraging convergence with the EU.
Papandreou outlined the outcome of this policy and replied to questions by students participating in the Bilgi University's summer program, which is dedicated to history and is being attended by Turkish and Greek students.
Papandreou has been in the city since Sunday, while this morning he called on Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at Fanar.
On Sunday night, the Greek minister had a meeting and later lunched with Cem, who is credited alongside Papandreou with the considerable improvement in relations between their two countries through so-called 'earthquake diplomacy' after devastating quakes that hit the two countries within weeks of each other in 1999 helped bring Greeks and Turks closer together.
Source: Athens News Agency