Outlining the framework that will govern his discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday in Brussels, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was open to “a positive agenda” noting, however, that it should unfold in a “gradual, proportionate and reversible way.”
Addressing the start of the ministerial meeting of seven Mediterranean countries in Athens (MED7), Mitsotakis said the positive outlook to Turkey will depend on the maintenance of the current de-escalation “and [on the condition] that Turkey participates constructively in the dialogue and respects the conditions set by the EU,” acting in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The phraseology used by Mitsotakis with regard to the conditions for a positive agenda for Turkey is part of the text of the conclusions of the European Council last March.
Monday’s meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit will most likely take place after Erdogan’s talks with US President Joe Biden.
The Maximos Mansion is also focusing its efforts on a meeting that is planned between Mitsotakis and Biden next fall.
Until then, perhaps in August or early September, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken may visit Greece as part of a discussion with his counterpart Nikos Dendias to sign the renewal of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA).
With regard to the Cyprus issue, Mitsotakis reiterated during his MED7 address that Athens’ firm position for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in accordance with the relevant United Nation Security Council resolutions and fully in line with the European acquis.
He ruled out the possibility of a two-state solution that Ankara has been trying to introduce over recent months.
He also referred to the Libyan issue, saying that the October 2020 ceasefire agreement should be implemented and that all foreign forces, fighters and mercenaries should leave Libya.
Greece was represented at the MED7 by Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.
The MED7 summit of country leaders will take place in September in Hania on Crete and by that time may include nine countries, if in the meantime the application for membership from Slovenia and Croatia have been accepted.