Greece’s newly elected Prime Minister pays first foreign visit to Turkey

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Monday, October 12, 2009

George Papandreou

George Papandreou, the new Greek Prime Minister, paid his first foreign visit to neighbouring Turkey on Friday. Papandreou arrived in Istanbul to attend an informal Balkan countries' ministerial meeting.

We must unify Cyprus.

—George Papandreou

He first visited the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, where he said both countries must work together to unify Cyprus. Bartholomew said Papandreou's arrival in Turkey for his first foreign visit is very important for Greek–Turkish relations, which are tense due to Cyprus and Aegean Sea disputes.

Later, he met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The two prime ministers appreciated the ongoing reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. He also visited his then-counterpart and friend İsmail Cem's tomb at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery.