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Athens, Ankara should take bolder steps to improve relations: Greek foreign minister

Athens and Ankara should take bolder steps to improve relations, the Greek foreign minister said Saturday.

Referring to a recent agreement between the two countries where Greece will support Türkiye’s bid for Assistant General Secretary of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Türkiye will support Greece’s bid for temporary membership to the UN Security Council, Nikos Dendias said he is hoping for bigger and more essential steps by both parties during an interview at the 8th Delphi Economic Forum.

“I hope it’s a first step to something much more serious and much bigger. You know, if we’re not willing to take the slightest risk on anything, we’re not going to get anywhere. Maybe we will never go outside our house in the morning because a brick might fall on us,” he said.

“I am one of those who deeply believe in the possibility of reaching an agreement with Türkiye,” he said, adding that he is particularly happy to end his term at the ministry with a very good climate in Greek-Turkish relations.

“I do not understand why we can solve issues with Egypt, with Italy, with Albania and we cannot with our neighbor Türkiye,” he said.

Greece was among the first countries to convey condolences and offer aid on Feb. 6, when twin earthquakes struck 11 southern Turkish provinces.

Likewise, Türkiye was the first country to offer its condolences and aid following a Feb. 28 train accident in northern Greece that left at least 57 people dead.

After the accident, Türkiye allowed a Greek prisoner to go to Greece to attend his son’s funeral.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Dendias met March 20 in Brussels and agreed that Türkiye would support Greece’s campaign for the Security Council in 2025-2026. Athens agreed it would support Ankara’s candidacy for Secretary General of IMO.

Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos visited Türkiye last week and met his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar.

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