Turkey: Exploratory talks with Greece 'important step'

By Ramazan Ercan and Izzet Mazi

KAHRAMANMARAS, Turkey (AA) – Ankara's ongoing exploratory talks with Athens are an "important step" in improving bilateral relations, Turkey's presidential spokesman said on Saturday.

In a talk on Turkish foreign policy, Ibrahim Kalin said: “This is an important step in terms of our relations with our neighbor Greece, the European Union and the balance of power in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.”

Kalin said Turkey and the EU are aiming to build an order in which peace and stability prevails in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Gulf Region and Africa.

“Turkey will try to actualize a foreign policy that is human-, peace- and stability-centered and based on mutual respect of equal actors, taking into consideration the geography and national interests.”

He said he hoped for better relations with the US in the new administration.

“We believe that new opportunities in Turkish-American relations will emerge with the start of Biden’s administration. We have started making contacts with our counterparts,” he added.

On the Middle East and the Gulf Region, Kalin said: “To solve issues such as the war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the issue of Palestine, we need to act together in solidarity.

“Libya is a country with great potential, capabilities and educated human resource. When these are put into good use, it will take no time for Libya to develop economically."

Kalin stressed that Turkey is the country that puts in the greatest effort to solve the debilitating conflict in Syria. “We have been in both Geneva and Astana processes since the beginning, and continue contributing to the constitutional committee studies.”

Touching on the recent Karabakh victory in Azerbaijan, he said: “With the solving of the Karabakh problem to a large extent, a new geopolitical situation will emerge in the southern Caucasus, by which new potentials and opportunities will emerge in no time. Hopefully, we will observe all these soon, together.”

* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara