Greece, Turkey vow better relations following devastating earthquake
The Greek FM says his country will continue to support Turkey as it recovers from the devastating earthquake that struck the country last Monday.
Marking the first EU minister to visit Turkey following the earthquake, Greece's Foreign Minister landed in Adana on Sunday to convey Athen's support to the quake-struck country.
Greece's top diplomat Nikos Dendias was warmly greeted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the airport before they both took the helicopter to visit the affected regions in the country.
"I would like to convey to the Turkish leadership and the Turkish people the warmest condolences of the [Prime Minster Kyriakos] Mitsotakis government and the entire Greek people for the losses after the two devastating earthquakes," Dendias said in a press conference with Cavusoglu in Antakya.
Read more: Assad receives UAE Foreign Minister, accompanying delegation
"This is showing the solidarity of Greek people with Turkey and the Turkish population. Greece was one of the first countries to call and propose help to Turkey after the earthquake," Cavusoglu added.
Developing relations don't have to wait for disasters to happens
In several instances since 2020, Ankara and Athens have been head-to-head and faced the risk of armed conflict over territorial claims in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek-Turkish divide in Cyprus, and the delimitation of maritime borders.
However, the neighboring nations have a history of assisting each other during times of crisis.
Turkey's top diplomat recalls a statement he made when he was still a civilian back in 1999 when both Ankara and Athens came for each others' aid when an earthquake struck both countries.
Read more: HTS holding Syria aid over 'approval issues': UN Spokesperson
"We don't have to wait for another earthquake for developing our relations," Cavusoglu noted he said then.
"I said this as a simple citizen back then, but I think the same today as Turkey's foreign minister," he added. "I hope we will make efforts for finding a solution to our disagreements with dialogue in a sincere way."
Read more: US should lift sanctions on Syria for disaster rescue: CGTN poll
In response to Cavusoglu's remark, Dendias said, "We do not need to wait for natural disasters to improve our relations," adding that his country's effort will continue to help Turkey during this devastating event.
Greece has so far provided Turkey with 80 tonnes of relief aid, in addition to rescue teams that up until now, along with other international teams, have saved 205 people, Dendias noted.
It's noteworthy that the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this week has led to some firsts in many years as countries around the world have been raising efforts to send aid and resources to help with disaster relief efforts.
Read more: Yerevan says Erdogan thanked Pashinyan for help after quake
One of such events was observed yesterday at one of the Turkish-Aremnian border crossings where, for the first time in 35 years, the crossing was opened to allow aid to pass into quake-struck Turkey.
According to Turkish-state news agency Anadolu, the last time this border was opened was in 1988 when Turkey provided Armenia with aid after the latter was struck by a catastrophic earthquake that led to 25,000 deaths and around 30,000 injuries.
On February 8, Hakob Arshakyan, the deputy speaker of the Armenian National Assembly, said the Turkish and Armenian nations should attempt to amend their grievances to attend to the respective countries' pertinent challenges.