Turkish PM calls for joint effort with Greece to settle Cyprus issue

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged his Greek counterpart to extend joint efforts to end a dispute over the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus which has been divided between a Turkish north and a Greek south since 1974.

"Let’s overcome this issue and bury this problem deep in the history. I believe with a strong political will, Mr Samaras’ government and my government will receive a result which is crucially important for regional peace, security and stability," Erdogan told a joint press conference with Greek Premier Antonis Samaras in Istanbul after a meeting of the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.

Erdogan cited "a positive and a constructive atmosphere" in relations between the two countries, which he said would improve mutual understanding and good neighborhood ties.

Erdogan said Turkish and Greek minorities living in Greece and Turkey constituted "a bridge of friendship" between the two nations, adding that welfare of the minorities would strengthen Turkish-Greek ties.

The Turkish premier said Monday’s meeting of the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council saw the penning of more than two dozens of agreements, which he said was a testimony to the development of relations.

Erdogan said trade volume between the two countries reached $5 billion, adding that more than one million Turks and Greeks visited each others’s countries over the past two years.

Erdogan attends Turkish-Greek Business Forum

Erdogan said that the trade volume between Greece and Turkey increased more than 100 percent in the past 10 years.

Speaking at the Turkish-Greek Business Forum in Istanbul, Erdogan underlined that they aimed at increasing the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Greece to 10 billion USD in the shortest time possible.

We must display determination by the end of 2015 to reach a trade volume of 10 billion USD, Erdogan also said.

Greek premier cites ’constructive talks’ with Turkish officials

Samaras described Monday his talks with Turkish officials "constructive" for relations between his country and Turkey.

"Today is a good day for Turkish-Greek relations. And it is in our hands to make more such good days," Samaras told a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Erdogan.

Samaras said Monday’s gathering of Turkish and Greek businesspeople as well as cabinet members of the two countries offered new windows for cooperation and new business opportunities.

"Bringing politicians and businesspeople closer helps bring peoples closer and serves in economic development and peace," Samaras said.

Greece is reaching stability, said Samaras

Speaking at the Business Forum, Samaras indicated that Greece was slowly reaching stability.

While Greece is about to reach stability, Turkey is on a path of development, Samaras noted.

"As such, it is high time for the entrepreneurs of the two countries to cooperate with each other. The conjuncture is appropriate for such cooperation," Samaras underlined.

Trade volume between Greece and Turkey increased more than 100 pct in past 10 years

Erdogan said that the trade volume between Greece and Turkey increased more than 100 percent in the past 10 years.

We must display determination by the end of 2015 to reach a trade volume of 10 billion USD, Erdogan said.

Greece made contributions to our determination to solve problems in the past 10 years, Erdogan expressed.

"We are all mortar. It is the countries and nations who will continue this process (between Turkey and Greece)," Erdogan underlined.

Copyright © 2013 Anadolu Agency