Davu­to­glu to visit Greece next month

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu will visit Athens on De­cem­ber 5 and 6 to at­tend a bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing, the For­eign Min­istry in Ankara an­nounced on Mon­day, just two days after Greece and Cyprus signed a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Egypt that aims to boost en­ergy se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the east­ern Mediter­re­anean.

The daily Sabah said tat Davu­to­glu will cochair the third Turkey Greece High-Level Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil meet­ing along with his Greek coun­ter­part An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras. The visit is seen by many as en ef­fort by Turkey to des-es­ca­late ten­sions in the re­gion when Turkey and Greece are said to be at odds over the di­vided is­land of Cyprus and peace talks to re­solve the is­sue have stalled.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anast­sais­des sus­pended talks over the di­vided is­land on Oc­to­ber 7 when Turkey sent a war­ship to mon­i­tor a Greek Cypriot oil-and-gas ex­plo­ration mis­sion off the is­land’s coast and within its Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone.

The Greek Cypriot side sub­mit­ted a for­mal com­plaint against Turkey dur­ing a Euro­pean Coun­cil meet­ing in late Oc­to­ber over Ankara’s move, while Turky pro­ceeded to send its seis­mic ves­sel Bar­baros to con­duct sur­veys in ar­eas al­ready be­ing ex­plored by oil and gas ma­jors from the U.S., Is­rael, France, Italy and Korea.

Turkey is op­posed to any uni­lat­eral Greek Cypriot move to ex­plore hy­dro­car­bon re­sources around the is­land in­sist­ing that the is­land’s nat­u­ral re­sources should be ex­ploited in a fair man­ner un­der a united Cyprus.

The pre­vi­ous meet­ing of the Turkey-Greece High-level Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil was held in Istanbul on March 4, 2013. The coun­cil had its first meet­ing on May 14, 2010 in Athens.

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