Turkey says outstanding issues with Greece should be solved bilaterally

Turkey says outstanding issues with Greece should be solved bilaterally
# 30 May 2021 22:36 (UTC +04:00)

Greece should avoid using the EU as a trump card against Turkey and embrace the current positive momentum, Turkey's foreign minister said on Sunday, APA reports citing Anadolu.

"Only Turkey and Greece can solve the outstanding problems, not the EU," Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview to Greek daily To Vima.

The foreign minister is on a two-day visit to Greece, with meetings scheduled in Western Thrace and Athens.

Cavusoglu expressed his satisfaction at reviving most of the channels for dialogue.

He said that he is always optimistic about good neighborly relations between Turkey and Greece.

"As two neighbors, we are destined to live in the same geography. Therefore, we should define our relationship with cooperation rather than conflict. It is in our hands to determine our destiny and the way forward," he said.

He stressed the talks he holds in Greece will serve to prepare the ground for a meeting to be held at the NATO Summit between Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and drew attention to the importance of sustainable constructive dialogue in bilateral relations.

The minister said that Turkey is ready to discuss any controversial issue with Greece.

"However, Greece should give up the 'Map of Seville'. Neither the US nor the EU endorses this map. I must reiterate that it is a mistake made by the Greeks to think that Turkey will be limited to the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts only."

Under the so-called Seville map the small Greek islands near the Turkish shore are seen as having huge continental shelves, supposedly superseding the shelf of the large Turkish mainland.

It represents Greek and Greek Cypriots' maximalist maritime jurisdiction claims in the Eastern Mediterranean, which has no legal validity, and was declared legally invalid both by the US and EU.