Meeting with Prime Minister of Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey, 22 March 2012
PASOK Press Office
The President of the Socialist International and the Prime Minister of Turkey
The President of the Socialist International, George A. Papandreou met today in Istanbul with Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Immediately after the meeting made the following statement:
"I had a very constructive discussion with the Prime Minister of Turkey and good friend, Tayyip Erdogan. We of course discussed the developments in the region, in particular the developments in the Arab world and of course in neighbouring Syria.
And the reason I am here of course in Turkey is that we are meeting the Socialist International to discuss with our member parties of the Arab countries and others that are interested and concerned on this issue about the need for democratic reform and change in many countries such as in Syria.
We have been following and support of course the initiatives of Kofi Annan and the Arab League. We support what they are trying to do, and we strongly believe that there is a need for free, open elections in Syria, of course with a truce and the ability for humanitarian aid -humanitarian groups to have access to all parts of Syria in this dire and difficult moment.
Of course, with the Prime Minister we shared our thoughts on many other issues in the region, the wider issues from Iran to the Arab Spring.
I have worked in the past with Tayyip Erdogan to better our relations, to continue to better our relations between Greece and Turkey.
Over the past ten years or so, these relations have become not only warmer, but have also developed in many areas, from the economy to cooperation in tourism and many other areas.
That does not mean that we still do not have problems, and we have to be aware of these problems. We discussed them, the issue of Cyprus, the continental shelf, questions that have to do with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
These are issues that constantly of course are on the agenda. And we need to further our two countries further, take initiatives in order to deal with these issues. But at the same time it was a very warm and constructive meeting.
I think it was a positive one for the necessary conclusions we will be getting, taking also as Socialist International.
Thank you very much."