Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Turks upbeat, realistic on talks with Greece

Optimism is mingling with a wait-and-see attitude as Turkish officials and analysts assess this weekend's meeting between the leaders of Turkey and Greece in Davos, Switzerland. According to a Western observer here, ``The Davos spirit can be the beginning of a new era of friendship between the two nations.''

``We have to maintain cautious optimism over the Davos spirit,'' says one Turkish official, referring to the first ever talks between Prime Ministers Turgut Ozal and Andreas Papandreou. ``We have to wait and see for that spirit to be transformed into deeds.''

About these ads

By Monday, Mr. Ozal was already reported to have told his Greek counterpart that he would cancel a 1964 decree expelling Greek nationals from Turkey and blocking their assets.

In addition, so far, the leaders have agreed on a series of confidence-building measures, including exchanges of visits and contacts between civilians as well as military personnel; a joint economic council to promote trade and tourism; annual summit meetings; and a direct telephone ``hot-line'' to discuss matters of discord when needed.

But no movement was made on the two main issues of contention - oil-exploration rights in the Aegean Sea and the sovereignty of Cyprus. The subjects were however reportedly discussed.

``What is important is that a mechanism for resolving problems has been set up,'' a senior Turkish official says. ``This process may take a long time. ...''

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.