Erdogan will reconsider the border between Turkey and Greece

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Greece

The Turkish President presented the Athens territorial claims and a number of other requirements.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a historic state visit to Greece on Thursday, December 7, presented the Athens territorial claims, has criticized the handling of the Greek authorities with representatives of the Turkish minority and has accused the EU of delaying the implementation of the agreement on refugees. “Air and sea borders could be improved,” said Erdogan. Before arriving in Athens, the Turkish President questioned the Lausanne Treaty from 1923. Under this Treaty, Greece has received nearly all the Islands in the Aegean sea off the coast of Turkey. Since then, between Turkey and Greece, there have been disputes about the exact border.

The government in Athens has responded angrily to claims by the Erdogan stressing that his visit will contribute to “build bridges, not walls .” The President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos has ruled out the possibility of the revision of the Lausanne Treaty. “For us this contract is not negotiable. It requires neither revision nor updating,” he said during the meeting with Erdogan in Athens.

Erdogan accused the Greek authorities that they are contrary to contract do not allow the Turkish minority to elect the Muftis, and appoint them yourself. The Turkish President stressed that for him the protection of the rights of ethnic Turks is a top priority. On 8 December he will visit the Turkish community in Thrace in Northern Greece.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the EU of reneging on promises in the economic sphere stemming from the agreement between the parties on readmission of illegal migrants. The European Union has not fulfilled any of its promises in this area, while Turkey has fulfilled all its obligations, said Erdogan. He, in particular, accused the EU and the non-payment of promised financial assistance.

Meanwhile, the President of Greece Pavlopoulos expressed support for Turkey’s rapprochement with the European Union. He, however, said that Turkey should respect international treaties and to fulfill the conditions for a further rapprochement with the EU.

This is the first visit by a Turkish President in Greece for the last 65 years. Erdogan has already visited Greece, however, only in the position of Prime Minister of Turkey. Under Erdogan has historically difficult relations between Turkey and Greece, despite all the difficulties, has improved. Erdogan maintains good relations with the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras.

Source: Russian service of DW

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