Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (Photo: Cem Özdel / AA)

Channels of dialogue with Greece more open today than before: Turkish foreign minister

Turkiye does its part regarding positive agenda with Greece, expects same from Athens administration, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

The channels of dialogue with Greece are more open today than before as Turkiye meets its responsibilities in this regard and expects the same from the Athens administration, Turkiye’s foreign minister said late Sunday.

Speaking to the Political, Economic and Social Research Foundation (SETA) think tank based in the Turkish capital Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu evaluated the bilateral relations between Turkiye and Greece.

“We can say that the channels of dialogue with Greece are more open today than before,” said Cavusoglu, mentioning that Turkiye is in favor of a sincere dialogue to solve problems.

Noting that Ankara is working to move the positive agenda in economic and commercial relations even further, he stressed: “The positive agenda focused on cooperation in the economy began to show its positive effects on bilateral trade in 2021 and increased by 70% compared to 2020 to reach $5.2 billion.”

“We hope that this positive agenda will create an environment in which we can sincerely discuss our bilateral issues with Greece.

“We are doing our part in this direction. We expect Greece to show the same sincerity and the same political will in this process,” he added.

-Turkiye ‘hope for world’

Recalling the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) which was held on March 11-13 in Turkiye’s southern province of Antalya, Cavusoglu pointed out that 17 heads of state and government, 80 ministers and 39 senior officials from international organizations participated.

“There were more than 3,000 participants from 75 countries; 40% of the countries in the world were represented at senior levels in Antalya,” he said.

Emphasizing that the ADF has turned into a “worldwide brand,” he noted: “The ADF was almost like a small meeting of the UN General Assembly. Many different actors came together under the umbrella of the ADF.”

Describing the forum as part of Turkiye’s foreign policy, Cavusoglu underlined that “Turkiye has become a global actor. Everyone agrees on the strength of Turkiye and the role it plays internationally.”

“Turkiye’s active, principled and fair attitude is appreciated by everyone,” he said, recalling that the reason for how Russian and Ukrainian diplomats had come together in the ADF was thanks to the “trust put in Turkiye.”

“Turkiye is a hope for the world. The expectations from Turkiye are great. I see this in every contact I make with my colleagues in different geographies,” he said.

The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK among others implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,417 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,038 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.

More than 4.1 million Ukrainians have also fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

[AA, April 4, 2022]

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