04 May, 2007
Turkey's progress toward the EU and ways to tackle illegal immigration were two issues that dominated talks held in Athens on Thursday between Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis and Spain's Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Bernardino León.
The two men stressed that Turkey should continue its European course and fulfill the terms and criteria set by the EU, while Valinakis underlined the importance of Turkey’s progress for Greece, including its democratic function.
On illegal immigration, Valinakis said that Greece and Spain were cooperating on both a bilateral level and in the framework of an initiative by eight Mediterranean countries.
He said the two sides had agreed to further increase cooperation in order to find practical ways of tackling the issue together.
Their talks also covered international and regional current affairs, such as developments in the Middle East and the Balkans.
The Greek minister underlined that Greece supported the European prospects of Balkan countries seeking to join the EU and promised to help them meet the terms and criteria required by the Community.
León stressed that Greece and Spain enjoyed excellent relations on a bilateral level and referred to their joint activities in the Mediterranean. He noted the need to pay special attention to issues concerning the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, Iran, Iraq but also the Barcelona Process and the EU neighbourhood policy.
Source: Athens News Agency