Greece, Turkey make historic move to improve ties

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a landmark visit to Athens on Friday (May 14th) amid tight security, in a bid to resolve longstanding issues between the two neighbours. The two governments signed a total of 21 agreements, declarations and memorandums, covering such issues as illegal immigration, boosting tourism, energy and transport. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called the visit an historic event, adding that the countries must work together to normalise ties. Reunifying Cyprus, long a stumbling block in bilateral ties, would contribute significantly to that goal, he noted.

Commenting on Erdogan’s visit to Athens, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said he hoped it would “open the road to a real improvement in relations”. He added, though, that resolving the Cyprus problem was a condition for any major boost in ties.

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