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New impetus for Greek-Turkish relations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A new impetus for Greek-Turkish relations was given yesterday following a letter by Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed to his Turkish counterpart, responding to prior correspondence between the two leaders.

The Greek side proposes the launch of a series of talks on the issue of the continental shelf, within a specific time limit and the option for both sides to resort to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in case of a dead-end.
Papandreou deems the Turkish proposal of establishing a High-level Council of Cooperation important and invites Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an official visit to Greece, sometime before summer, in order to set a time framework.
Moreover, the Greek Premier highlights the need for de-escalating tension over the Aegean Sea and stresses that military activity in the area must be avoided since it jeopardizes security and fuels tension. Referring to the pressure exercised on bilateral relations due to immigration flows’ movement, Papandreou reiterates the necessity for Turkey to abide by the Greek-Turkish Readmission Protocol (2001).
The premier concludes by expressing Greece’s support for Turkey’s European perspective, provided that the latter honours its obligations towards the Greek minority in Turkey and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Turkey Bilateral Relations & Greek-Turkish Rapprochement
[Photo from Papandreou’s visit to Istanbul, Turkey, October, 2009]

FRONTEX Patrol: Turbulence in The Aegean

FRONTEX(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens has lodged a complaint with Ankara after Turkey’s latest attempt to oust an EU Frontex helicopter operating over the Greek isle of Farmakonisi in the Aegean.  On September 8, the Latvian pilots on board a Frontex helicopter – an EU agency coordinating boarder controls in the EU- were asked by Turkish authorities, via radio, to submit a flight plan. The pilots continued their operation without responding to the call and reported the incident to the Greek authorities, who issued a démarche with Turkey. This incident constitutes Turkey’s sixth attempt to obstruct EU agencies’operations in the area in 2009.Kathimerini  daily: Turks continue to stir tension; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek Territorial Waters – National Airspace

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