DIPLOMACY

Dendias’ Ankara trip moved to Thursday

Extraordinary NATO videoconference changes plan for scheduled meeting Wednesday with Cavusoglu

dendias-ankara-trip-moved-to-thursday

Wednesday’s scheduled visit by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Ankara has been postponed until Thursday because of a extraordinary videoconference of NATO defense ministers in light of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, but mainly (unofficially) the rapid developments in Ukraine.

Dendias’ visit to Ankara and the meeting with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu will come amid renewed tension between the two countries that were fanned by comments this week in Athens and Ankara regarding Turkey’s illegal 2019 maritime borders memorandum with Libya.

The joint press conference of the two ministers is planned for around 7 p.m. Thursday.

Dendias will be accompanied to Ankara by the deputy foreign minister in charge of economic diplomacy, Kostas Fragogiannis.

The presence of Fragogiannis suggests that the two sides will try to rekindle some older discussions about economic relations between the two countries. Above all, however, Dendias and Cavusoglu will discuss bilateral issues that have largely acquired a significant regional dimension.

The Greek side is consciously keeping expectations low, as it expects Ankara to revisit several of its now standard positions regarding the differences between the two countries. 

The meeting of the two ministers is also important in view of the informal five-party conference on the Cyprus issue at the end of the month.

Dendias will however travel to Istanbul this morning for a scheduled meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. The meeting will not take palace in the Fanari district, but at the Sismanogleio Mansion, where the Consulate General of Greece is housed. He will then return to Athens for the NATO meeting.

French frigates

Meanwhile Tuesday officials of France’s Naval Group presented the company’s proposal to supply frigates to the Hellenic Navy at the French Embassy in Athens.

Naval Group Executive Vice President Alain Guillou, accompanied by his team, made an extensive presentation on the characteristics of the four frigates for defense and intervention (FDI) proposed by the French company.

According to the French proposal, the first frigate will be delivered at the beginning of 2025, in 40 months, a period that Guillou said is a competitive advantage that other proposals do not have. Under the proposal, the second frigate will be delivered in 2027, the third in 2028 and the fourth in 2029.