Erdogan and Mitsotakis vow to repair Türkiye-Greece relations

Estimated read time 3 min read

03:26

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a much anticipated meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens on Thursday, with both sides agreeing to repair their relationship and establish a new era of closer ties and cooperation. 

Greece and Türkiye have long been at odds over issues including where their continental shelves start and end, energy resources, flights over the Aegean Sea, and the ethnically partitioned island of Cyprus, but are determined to start a new page in their relationship.

Erdogan started his visit to Athens by meeting his Greek counterpart Katerina Sakellaropoulou and followed that engagement with a warm reception with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

The meeting with Mitsotakis centred on the thorny issues of migration, the divided island of Cyprus, and economic cooperation, but ended with the pair signing a joint declaration that pledged to maintain friendly neighborly relations.

READ MORE

Gaza reporter: It’s more than a job

Bill Gates: Countries need to move faster on energy

Alps skiing delayed by warmer weather

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Minister's Office/Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Minister’s Office/Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Minister’s Office/Reuters

After signing the declaration, Mitsotakis emphasized the importance of Türkiye and Greece working together in the future. 

He said: “It is exceptionally important that in the last months the two countries are walking on a calmer path. Greece and Türkiye, Türkiye and Greece, must live peacefully. They should articulate their differences, which are known, and discuss them with sincerity, and search for solutions.” 

Meanwhile, Erdogan said that there are no unsolvable issues between the countries. “We want to turn the Aegean into a sea of peace and cooperation. As Türkiye-Greece, we want to set an example to the whole world with the mutual steps we will take. 

“There is no issue between us that is unsolvable. So long as we focus on the big picture and don’t end up being like those who cross the sea and drown in the river. We want to turn the Aegean into a sea of peace. Through the joint steps we will take as Türkiye and Greece, we want to be an example to the world.”

Erdogan and Mitsotakis signed a joint declaration to pursue good neighborly relations at the Maximos Mansion in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Ministers Office.

Erdogan and Mitsotakis signed a joint declaration to pursue good neighborly relations at the Maximos Mansion in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Ministers Office.

Erdogan and Mitsotakis signed a joint declaration to pursue good neighborly relations at the Maximos Mansion in Athens. /Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Ministers Office.

After customary verbal jousting over recent years, chilly relations between the two neighbors thawed markedly after Greece swiftly dispatched aid in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Turkey in February.

By Greco-Turkish standards, Thursday’s summit was a remarkable lovefest without precedence, and a far cry from Erdogan’s last visit in 2017 where both sides reeled off a litany of historical grievances stretching back to the days of the Ottoman Empire over a century ago.

The meeting of Mitsotakis and Erdogan went on longer than anticipated, and Mitsotakis addressed Erdogan as “Dear Tayyip”. Erdogan said he expected to receive Mitsotakis in Ankara.

The NATO allies want to raise bilateral trade volume from $5 billion to $10 billion, while Erdogan said both countries could benefit from high-level meetings held annually.

Erdogan and Mitsotakis vow to repair Türkiye-Greece relations

Subscribe to Storyboard: A weekly newsletter bringing you the best of CGTN every Friday

Source(s): Reuters

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours