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02 February, 2000
Developments in Greek-Turkish relations following the Greek foreign minister's recent official visit to Ankara as well as his Turkish counterpart's up- coming visit to Athens were the focus of a high-ranking government meeting on Tuesday, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
The premier met with the leaderships of the foreign and defense ministries for discussions over a wide array of issues, which beyond Greek-Turkish affairs, also included discussions on a trilateral summit meeting between Simitis, Albanian PM Ilir Meta and the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Ljubco Georgievski. The summit meeting is expected to begin on Wednesday in the Prespes lake region separating the three countries.
According to informed sources, Ankara's recent proposal for the creation of joint committee to deal with wholly military issues and the implementation of bilateral Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) in the Aegean was also discussed.
The same sources said Athens' position over the need to exploit the NATO framework for CBMs in the Aegean was reiterated, whereas in terms of the proposed bilateral military issues committee, current contacts at the foreign ministry level were judged satisfactory, although the participation of military experts in such talks wasn't ruled out.
Finally, it was decided that the issue of visits by each country's defense ministers to the other would be discussed very shortly.
Source: Athens News Agency