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07:53, 20 February 2017 Monday
15:50, 04 March 2013 Monday

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Turkey's PM calls cooperation with Greece "strategic"
Turkey's PM calls cooperation with Greece

"While we consider the partnership between the two countries as strategic, we want to add a different dimension to this partnership," said Erdogan.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey would not want to adopt a policy based on rumors regarding its relations with Greece.

Giving an interview to the state-run television channel ERT of Greece on Sunday, a day ahead of Greek Premier Antonis Samaras's visit to Turkey, Erdogan stated the importance of bilateral cooperation.

"While we consider the partnership between the two countries as strategic, we want to add a different dimension to this partnership," said Erdogan adding that they would not adopt "a policy based on rumors."

Regarding Samaras's visit, Erdogan said the delegations were set to discuss a number of issues, such as tourism, energy, telecommunications and defense while also signing new agreements in several of these areas.

Erdogan said they had found the opportunity to talk about many of these issues with Samaras in their meeting in Doha in late January and they would make new steps.

Erdogan stated that the total foreign trade volume between the two countries by the end of 2012 was 5 billion USD, 3.5 billion USD of which was Greece's exports and 1.5 billion USD was the amount of Turkey's exports, adding that they were moving forward, protecting the rights of the neighbor and with solidarity.

Erdogan said their meeting with Samaras in Turkey would be one of the most important steps on bilateral relations of Turkey and Greece.

"Differences between Greece and Turkey can be resolved through a unbiased and friendly approach. Both our countries need this," Erdogan said, adding that there have been mistakes and misunderstandings in relations in the past.

"We need to fix these mistakes and misunderstandings mutually and through joint steps we can raise our military, political, economic, commercial and cultural ties to a whole new level," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said minorities could play a key role in bringing two countries closer to each other, describing Istanbul's Greek minority "a bridge" between the two nations.

Erdogan said the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council offered "a historic opportunity" for the relations between the two countries.

Erdogan said Turkey and Greece continued to work on settling a territorial dispute in the Aegean Sea, adding, "I see absolutely no reason not to achieve results in this issue as long as we assume an unbiased attitude."

The Turkish premier said his country favored a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem through "an unprejudiced process" and a fresh initiative by the United Nations.

Erdogan said Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots are entitled to equal rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding that oil and natural gas reserves around Cyprus should be distributed equally to the two communities.

Erdogan said Turkey was willing to help Greece weather its crippling economic crisis, adding planned privatization projects in Greece were of great importance for the country's economic recovery.

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Press agenda on February 19
Press agenda on February 19

Here are the main topics World Bulletin’s English Desk plans to cover Sunday Feb. 19, 2017 (coverage may change depending on developing/breaking stories): BAGHDAD Iraqi forces launch an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul's west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. 700 words 0530 GMT by Ammar Karim and Jean-Marc Mojon US-militant-Egypt-prison,2ndlead WASHINGTON The sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian-born cleric linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78 in a US prison facility after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery disease. 650 words moved by Maggy Donaldson. File Picture Ukraine-Russia-conflict,WRAP MOSCOW A truce between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine will come into force Monday, Moscow and Kiev say, though some separatists are already labelling it unfeasible. 500 words moved by Anais Llobet Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,WRAP BERLIN Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a love story set in a slaughterhouse, wins the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. 700 words moved by Deborah Cole. Picture. Video Also moved: Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-prizes,FACTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,POINTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-winners,CHRONO -- ASIA -- NKorea-Malaysia-diplomacy-community,SCENE KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's only North Korean restaurant promises a glimpse into life in the reclusive state but it has been shuttered since news broke of the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un's brother, with security guards turning customers away. 650 words 0600 GMT by Elizabeth Law. Picture. Video -- AMERICAS -- US-politics-Trump-Melania,lead MELBOURNE, Florida First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, breaks with form, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. 600 words moved by Michael Mathes with Stephanie Griffith in Washington. Picture. Video. US-media-politics-technology WASHINGTON As President Donald Trump warns of a crackdown on US government leaks to media, interest is growing in technology tools that allow sources to share information anonymously. 750 words moved by Rob Lever Venezuela-politics-opposition-US CARACAS Venezuela and the United States lock horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including over the detention of a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital to demand his release.