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Peace at home, peace in the world

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The Response by the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a Question on the Aegean Developments May 17, 2000

Turkey is pleased with the progress in its relations with Greece within the last months and attaches importance to the enhancement and deepening of this positive atmosphere and established joint work. In our joint work, the Aegean problems have not yet been dealt with. On these issues basic positions are maintained. It is known that Turkey favours to take up all problems in bilateral talks and negotiations.

Within this context, taking into consideration several reports published in the Greek press, it became necessary to draw the attention of the Embassy of Greece to our well known views on geographical formations in the Aegean which have been declared several times in the past. This was done on 10 May 2000.

It is obvious that discussion of the Turkish-Greek relations through public opinion as well as negative statements and remarks to the media, do not help the improvement of the climate of confidence in the Aegean and the enhancement and deepening of the significant joint work between Turkey and Greece.

Turkey, following a careful path in this field and taking into consideration the Greek sensitivities, expects the same approach from its counterparts. The improvement of Turkish-Greek co-operation is not only consistent with the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries but also necessary for peace and stability in the region. Endeavors to this end should be pursued with patience, caution and care.