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  • Katrougalos: Tsipras-Erdogan meeting did not change the rules of the game

    One reason Katrougalos is optimistic is that tensions with Greece and the EU has led to significant problems in the Turkish economy

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team
    The cornerstone of the normalisation of Turkey’s relations with Europe and the West is Greek-Turkish relations, according to Alternate Foreign Minister Yorgos Katrougalos. The condition for a full normalisation is the release of the two Greek army officers.
    In an interview with the state-run Athens News Agency, Katrougalos said that most of Greece’s national issues are at Greece’s eastern border. He said that the reason that Athens resolved the FYROM issue in a nationally beneficial manner was in order to free up valuable diplomatic capital and use it where it counts.
    “The meeting of the Greek prime minister with President Erdogan last Thursday did not change the rules of the game. Yet, it was essential, as it lasted two hours and was conducted in a climate that the prime minister himself described as difficult. That is because the Turkish president raised issues that we reject, because they are rejected by European legal culture and the rule of law, such as the linking of the fate of two Greek army officers with eight Turkish officers who have already been granted asylum,” Katrougalos said.
    Katrougalos said that it is positive that there is an end to that linkage. He said that Greece has no demands other than ensuring that the two officers receive a fair trial, which Turkey has promised, with its participation in the European Convention on Human Rights.
    “I want to believe that now that Turkey has held its elections, and there is no reason for this issue to be used for domestic political reasons, we can expect something better in foreign policy in the coming days,” Katrougalos said.

    One reason Katrougalos is optimistic is that tensions with Greece and the EU has led to significant problems in the Turkish economy – a great increase in inflation, a large decline in the value of the Turkish lira, and a flight of investors. “This normalisation of relations is in the interest of Turkey, and President Erdogan is a perceptive leader who cannot ignore this,” Katrougalos said.

    International