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Greece, Turkey seek accord on Cyprus

March 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, March 5 (UPI) -- Turkey and Greece are determined to resolve and "bury" longstanding disputes over the island of Cyprus, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

Greece has "a strong will for a solution" and wants to talk about ways to achieve important results for the stability, peace and security of the region," Erdogan said during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Erdogan added that "we want to overcome difficulties regarding Cyprus and bury that problem in history," Today's Zaman reported Monday.

For his part, Samaras said the two countries want to "write a new history of peace and progress."

A settlement of issues about Cyprus would smooth Turkey's possible entrance into the European Union, Samaras said.

The two leaders signed at least 25 agreements Monday intended to develop ties and strengthen cooperation for stability in the region.

Turkey and Greece have been involved in a dispute over defining the borders of each country's exclusive economic zones on Cyprus.

Erdogan noted that trade between the countries was at record levels, with Greece the fifth-largest investor in Turkey.

Speaking at the Turkish-Greek Business Forum, Erdogan said he aims to have $10 billion in trade volume with Greece by 2015.

Samaras, at the same forum, said "the time is right for such cooperation" as Greece heads toward stability and Turkey is on a road to development.

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