Tsipras reiterates Greek positions in press con'f with Erdogan; 'no' to treaty revision

Thursday, 07 December 2017 16:35
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Maximos Mansion government house in Athens on Thursday for wide-ranging talks, followed in close order with a joint press conference.

Tsipras' main points, in comments afterwards and in response to press questions, were:

- Greece backs Turkey's European prospect for accession, a position echoing past Greek governments dating to almost 1999

- Athens will constantly support a democratic Turkey that looks to Europe, "we hope it will soon return to the path towards Europe"

- An agreement over the 2015 migrant crisis was "difficult and significant", he said, while praising Turkey for hosting millions of Mideast refugees

- An emphasis on Athens' standing positions on the Cyprus issue, "a solution must be based on the framework set by the UNSC. We hope negotiations will soon restart".

- A reference to the risk for relations emanating from "provocations in the Aegean", while saying a casus belli approved by the Turkish grand assembly more than two decades ago still hangs over bilateral relations. Agreement over restarting negotiations on CBMs and exploratory talks on the continental shelf issue.

- A firm "no" on revising the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, saying problem-free relations depend on mutual respect for international law and the specific treaty.

- That the wider region is undergoing a period of tension, "developments bring us face-to-face with new challenges".  


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