Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, accompanied by a large group of ministers, arrives in Istanbul today for the 2nd session of the Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council, which will be co-chaired by Samaras and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a joint Business Forum later in the day, AMNA informs.
Samaras will be received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul shortly after his arrival, to be followed by a private meeting with Erdogan. The Cooperation Council will be held at noon, followed by an agreement signing ceremony and statements by Samaras.
Samaras will afterwards address (1:15 p.m.) the Business Forum, in which 100 Greek and 200 Turkish enterprises will participate.
The Greek Prime Minister will further be received by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the early afternoon.
A large business mission will also accompany Samaras, the members of which will attend the Business Forum being organised by the Federation of Greek Industries’ (SEV), the Greece-Turkey Business Council and Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
Cooperation with Greece “is a strategic one, and we would like to ascribe to it a different dimension. That is, Greece-Turkey bilateral relations from now on should not be based on gossip,” Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with NET state television. Referring to the context of negotiations with the Greek Premier, Erdogan noted: “In our negotiations with the Greek government we will assess at what point our bilateral relations are, and we will have the opportunity to discuss how to move forward in the future…We have a loaded agenda and we will continue our work from 11.00 in the morning until the evening…Of course, we will examine a number of issues, including tourism, energy, telecoms, the direction towards which we drive bilateral political relations as well as NATO issues, as we are two NATO member countries and we should discuss the steps to take in this capacity.”