Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis on Friday met with Turkish Ambassador to Greece Yasar Halit Cevik, as relations between the two countries have soured over recent comments by high-ranking officials in Ankara questioning Greece’s borders.
Dragakis and the recently-appointed envoy discussed ways to strengthen Greek-Turkish ties amid the recent strain, the ANA-MPA news agency reported.
Cevik “acknowledged the need to further bolster ties between Greece and Turkey, as an element of stability in a time of fluidity both on a regional and international level,” Drakasakis was quoted as saying.
The two men reportedly confirmed their commitment to Greek-Turkish cooperation, “emphasizing the important role of commercial exchanges within the context of strengthening bilateral economic ties,” ANA-MPA said.
The meeting comes after the Greek Foreign Ministry issued a stern response to statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who claimed that the Imia islets are “Turkish land,” and following a notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by Ankara and calling for the Greek armed forces to cease all exercises south of the island of Kasos.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also fueled tensions in recent weeks with comments questioning Greece’s borders as outlined in the Treaty of Lausanne.