Erdogan visits Greece, talks business with former 'enemy'

1st Turkish president in country in 65 years, 'building bridges'

07 December, 19:29

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 7 - Some 65 years after the last visit by a Turkish president to Greece and as Ankara is going through one of its most difficult yet phases in relations with the EU and NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a two-day visit to Greece. The aim is to get relations between the two countries back on their feet, balancing out alliances with Russian and Iran. There are still many disagreements between the two countries, from Cyprus to the Aegean Sea. Erdogan used the visit to call for an "updating" of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which set down the borders between the two countries, and spoke out against "discrimination" in Greece of the Muslim minority of Turkish origins. His Greek counterpart ruled out any "revision" of the agreement. Nevertheless, the visit set down the basis for a high-level bilateral cooperation council that in two months may result in three significant joint infrastructure projects: and Izmir-Salonika maritime connection, a high-speed rail line between Istanul and Salonika and a bridge over the River Evros on the border. These projects could be essential for the relaunch of trade and tourism between the two countries, after a halving of trade over the past four years to 2.6 billion dollars. On refugees, an agreement between the EU and Turkey in March 2016 continues to be the main reference point, but Erdogan continues to say that the EU has not kept its promises as concerns the transfer of funds. (ANSAmed).

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