Greek, Turkish defence ministers fly over quake-stricken areas in Türkiye
At the country's Disaster & Crisis Coordination & Management Center in Antakya (Antioch), Akar briefed the Greek minister on latest developments and the current situation. The two ministers then flew over disaster areas on a helicopter and visited a hospital and temporary accomodations housing people who lost their homes in the Feb. 6 earthquakes.
"I observed the magnitude of the destruction, but I also observed the great effort to rebuild the area," Panagiotopoulos said. He also reiterated "the statement of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who said that we will try to support Türkiye to the extent we can as it faces the long-term consequences of this great humanitarian disaster."
Some of these extreme disasters occur partly due to climate change, noted Panagiotopoulos, but they also comprise "a new type of security challenge that will concern us all, and we will have to find ways to deal with them because they will surely come, they will hit countries and our peoples, and they should be addressed, and we should work on it, maybe jointly as well."
"We continue to make our efforts for the further development and improvement of our bilateral relations between Greece and Türkiye, and as you know there are some problems and some differences," Akar pointed out. "We hope that Türkiye and Greece, two civilized countries, can resolve these differences within the framework of good neighborly relations, diplomacy and respect. I believe that this will be to the benefit of both sides," he underlined.
Akar also expressed anew his condolences for the victims of Greeces' Tempi train disaster.
Disasters put aside, he continued, it is "our desire, our expectation and our wish that this approach and positive atmosphere will continue after the devastating earthquake. By creating an environment of permanent cooperation, we want the Aegean and the Mediterranean to become a sea of friendship. Our main desire and expectation is that the peoples on both sides live in security and peace."