Davutoglu sees great deal in Turkish-Greek rapprochement
The Turkish foreign minister said on Wednesday that Turkey was determined to make its region a region of peace, prosperity and stability.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu talked about Turkish-Greek relations; Aegean and Cyprus issues; and the visit of Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Drucas to Turkey in an interview with the Greek To Vima newspaper.
"With the personal efforts of Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, a great deal has been achieved in Turkish-Greek rapprochement," Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said two countries had the common will to open a new page in bilateral relations, and Turkey was ready to debate bilateral relations, all regional and international issues.
Referring to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal to Papandreou to set up a high-level cooperation committee, Davutoglu said such a committee would help overcome ongoing and challenging problems.
Davutoglu said Turkey was ready to find a peaceful solution to all disagreements, particularly the Aegean issue, and said the Aegean should be a sea of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries should assume constructive attitude instead of focusing on issues that would make political agenda tenser, when trying to open a new page in bilateral relations, Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said Turkey respected territorial integrity and immunity of borders in its relations with all its neighbors including Greece.
"We are determined to find comprehensive and permanent solutions to all disagreements and problems between the two countries, particularly the Aegean," Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said Turkey was ready to continue working to solve problems in the Aegean on the basis of international law.
On Cyprus problem, Davutoglu said Turkey, as a guarantor state, extended full support to constructive efforts of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and ongoing negotiations.
Davutoglu said in case negotiations ended up with success, a federal government would be set up by two equal founder states.
Turkish Cypriots were exerting great efforts to find a fair and lasting settlement to Cyprus problem as soon as possible, Davutoglu said.
"A fair and lasting settlement under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) will take stability and prosperity in the East Mediterranean under guarantee," Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said Turkey was ready to cooperate with Greece also on this issue.
The minister said Prime Minister Erdogan proposed his Greek counterpart Papandreou to hold quartet meetings among Turkey, Greece and two parties in Cyprus.
Davutoglu said Erdogan met Turkish and Greek Cypriot reporters on February 27 and gave positive messages, which received positive reactions from the Greek Cypriot public but negative reactions from political parties.
Turkey and TRNC exerted every effort to complete the ongoing negotiation process successfully, Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said Turkey would respect any settlement to be reached by the free wills of the two nations in the island, and fulfil its own obligations.
If the Annan plan had not been rejected by the Greek Cypriot administration in 2004, Turkish and Greek military forces in the island would have been reduced gradually as foreseen in 1960 treaties, Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu also defined Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Drucas' visit to Turkey on April 7-8 as important.
The minister also said he hoped Drucas' visit would lay the groundwork for the upcoming round of exploratory talks and a near future schedule including Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Athens.