Venizelos ex­tends in­vite to Turkey at start of visit

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venizelos ar­rived in Ankara last night for two days of talks. Ahead of his visit he sought to make it clear that Greece is pre­pared to dis­cuss mar­itime is­sues with Turkey re­gard­less of its re­cent agree­ment with Cyprus and Egypt.

Venizelos is due to meet Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan and For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu dur­ing his visit but be­fore trav­el­ing stressed that the re­cent Cairo Dec­la­ra­tion, with which Greece, Cyprus and Egypt agreed to closer co­op­er­a­tion, was not “ag­gres­sive to­ward Turkey.”

“Our invitation to­ward Turkey to take part in th­ese type of tri­lat­eral or mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tions is al­ways open and hon­est,” said Venizelos.

He also de­nied that the agree­ment was an in­di­ca­tion Greece is rush­ing to de­mar­cate its ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ).

“This is not the case,” said the for­eign min­is­ter. “There is an agree­ment be­tween Cyprus and Egypt for the de­mar­ca­tion of mar­itime bor­ders but there is no such agree­ment be­tween Greece and Egypt yet.”

Venizelos also de­scribed the pres­ence of the Turk­ish re­search ves­sel Bar­baros in the Cypriot EEZ as “il­le­gal” and said that the Cyprus is­sue would al­ways be the “key fac­tor” in re­la­tions be­tween Athens and Ankara.

Venizelos is due to meet Cavu­soglu this morn­ing, fol­lowed by a trip to the pres­i­den­tial palace for talks with Er­do­gan.

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