Greece, Turkey leaders watch accepted ground over Ukraine war

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Turkey says the 2 aspects agreed to defend dialog channels birth despite disagreements.

Published On 13 Mar 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have held talks in Istanbul, looking out for a rapprochement against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Every international locations have key roles to play in the changing security location in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and their elevated cooperation would have advantages for the placement, the Turkish presidency stated in a assertion following Sunday’s talks.

“No subject the disagreements between Turkey and Greece, it was agreed at the assembly to defend dialog channels birth and to toughen bilateral relations,” the assertion stated.

“Pointing out that Turkey and Greece have a assorted responsibility in the changing European security structure with Russia’s assault on Ukraine, the assembly centered on the mutual and regional advantages of increasing cooperation between the 2 international locations,” it added.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Istanbul,
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Istanbul, Turkey on March 13, 2022 [Presidential Press Office/Handout/Reuters]

The assembly between the leaders of the neighbouring NATO participants came as Ankara seeks to shore up its credentials as a regional power player by mediating in the war.

Final Thursday, the Turkish resort metropolis of Antalya hosted the first talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba since the originate of Russia’s invasion on February 24. They didn’t build a leap forward.


Greece and Turkey entered a standoff in 2020 over hydrocarbon sources and naval influence in the waters off their coasts.

Mitsotakis then unveiled Greece’s most plucky palms bewitch programme in decades and signed a defence agreement with France, to Turkey’s consternation.

Senior Turkish officers proceed to query Greek sovereignty over substances of the Aegean Sea, but final Twelve months Ankara resumed bilateral talks with Athens.

After a five-Twelve months hiatus, Greece and Turkey agreed final Twelve months to renew exploratory talks to address their beget variations in the Mediterranean, but runt development has been made up to now.

The international locations came halt to war of words in 2020, when Turkey sent a drilling ship to contested Mediterranean waters. The location eased after Ankara withdrew the vessel, and the neighbours resumed bilateral talks in January 2021.

‘Measured’ expectations

Sooner than his gallop to Turkey, Mitsotakis had stated he was heading there in a “productive mood” and with “measured” expectations.

“As companions in NATO, we’re called upon … to are trying to defend our location faraway from any extra geopolitical crisis,” he told a cabinet assembly on Wednesday.

Alongside its European companions, Athens strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling it a “revisionist” assault and “flagrant violation of global law”.

Ecumenical Patriarch?Bartholomew I, the spiritual head of some 300 million Orthodox Christians
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the non secular head of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, holds an icon as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appears to be like in at the courtyard of the Ecumenical Patriarchate following a Sunday carrier in Istanbul, Turkey, March 13, 2022 [Murad Sezer/Reuters]

Earlier on Sunday, Mitsotakis attended a celebration at the Orthodox St George’s Cathedral, Turkey’s supreme, in Istanbul.

The Greek authorities spokesman this week stated Mitsotakis was as a consequence of consult with the Istanbul-based completely Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Sunday.

Bartholomew, who has stated he’s “a target for Moscow”, called at some stage in the mass for an “instantaneous ceasefire on all fronts” in Ukraine.

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