MOSCOW, December 6 (Sputnik) — Turkey and Greece agree to strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation following the third High Level Cooperation Council meeting between the two countries in Athens, an official joint statement said Saturday.
"In the light of the increase in their bilateral trade volume and economic cooperation, the two countries agreed to take necessary measures to further strengthen their economic and commercial cooperation," the statement published on Greece’s foreign ministry website said.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu held talks during the December 5 and 6 council meeting where they pledged commitment to promote further relations.
The main areas of concern were in the field of energy, specifically natural gas pipelines and electricity interconnected networks. Joint projects on tourism was also noted as a priority alongside the fight against terrorism, owing to the current Islamic State (IS) insurgency in Syria and Iraq which neighbour Turkey.
“The two countries reiterate their determination to further cooperate addressing this major challenge [terrorism] to the stability of the broader region, including in the framework of the global coalition to counter the terrorist threat stemming from the situation in Syria and Iraq," the statement said.
The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
In an attempt to defeat the militant group, the US-led international coalition is currently conducting airstrikes against IS positions in Syria and Iraq.