Greek PM Backs Istanbul 2020 Olympic Bid

By Community | January 10, 2011

The Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou has pledged his support to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic bid of Istanbul, during a visit to Turkey.

The Turkish Government have earmarked the 2020 Games as a national priority after failing with bids to host the event in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Papandreou was inspecting the facilities of the 2011 World University Winter Games in Erzurum and revealed that his nation were backing Istanbul’s efforts after meeting with Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Greek Prime Minister stated that he wished success to the bid, to warm appreciation from an audience at the facility: “We should forget the past’s rivalry and prejudices,” said Papandreou.

“We are honoured and proud of our countries’ histories, but we would like to demolish the wall of prejudices.”

The Turkish Prime Minister claimed that Papandreou’s promise of Greek support for Istanbul was further evidence of the improving relations between the two nations: “We are expending efforts to turn the Aegean Sea into a lake of peace and friendship,” he said.

“We should leave the mistakes of the past behind and build a world where peace reigns. We should transmit peace, love and respect to the next generations instead of a world dominated by fights, hatred or blood. Greece is Turkey’s neighbor to the west and we share a 206-kilometre border. This encounter is very meaningful.”

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