As Mitsotakis, Erdogan ‘break the ice’, groundwork is laid for broader bilateral talks

By Angelos Athanasopoulos

Talks between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were held in a cordial climate today according to diplomatic sources.

The nearly one-hour discussion took place in a warm climate and both sides signalled that the two leaders broke the ice.

Erdogan and Mitsotakis, according to the same sources, agreed to leave behind the tensions of 2020, despite very serious lingering differences.

The basic message of the meeting they say is that there was mutual understanding, that the tensions of 2020 must not be repeated, and that provocations must not become unmanageable.

The desire was expressed to push forward positive measures on the agenda that have been agreed upon, despite the fact that there are huge differences on a variety of issues, chief among which is delimitation of the two countries' maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Greek side stressed that differences must be handled through existing channels such as bilateral exploratory talks, confidence-building measures, and political consultations.

The two leaders reportedly discussed the migration-refugee issue and the Greek side underlined that the two countries can cooperate as long as the type of provocations we saw in March, 2020, are avoided.

In this framework, a welcome good-will gesture from Ankara would be to accept the return to Turkey of 1,450 individuals whose asylum [international protection] applications have been definitively rejected.

Erdogan charm attack

Shortly before meeting Mitsotakis, Erdogan staged a charm attack toward Greece, declaring that the re-opening of channels of dialogue helped resolve certain issues and contributed to regional...

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