Athens and Ankara seek positive agenda

Athens and Ankara seek positive agenda

In a bid to de-escalate tensions, sparked by a spike in Turkish overflights in the eastern Aegean and incendiary rhetoric that even targeted President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Greek-Turkish Joint Economic Committee is meeting on Monday in Athens under Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Frangogiannis and Turkish Deputy Minister of Trade Mustafa Tuzcu. 

In addition, efforts are also under way to hold the 64th round of exploratory contacts between the two countries in Athens in February, but also to repeat the political dialogue at the level of general secretaries of the respective foreign ministries.

There are still no developments in the field of confidence building measures (MoUs) at the level of ministries of national defense, while at the NATO level, the channel that was opened after the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2020 has been practically inactive. 

Athens believes Ankara is trying to show the West that it is discussing problems with its neighbors, without, however, having sincere intentions.

After all, it was only on Thursday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece of sponsoring terrorists.

However, the meeting of the Greek-Turkish Joint Economic Committee on Monday will be completed with the signing of a protocol by Frangogiannis and Tuzcu.

The reactivation of the joint committee is one of the 25 items on the so-called positive agenda set between Frangogiannis and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. The first meeting of the Commission took place in 2000 and the last in October 2021. The opening of the committee’s meeting will be welcomed by Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Turkish Culture Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

Meanwhile Friday, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias attended discussions in Croatia on the security and defense aspects of Europe’s future. Dendias stated that Greece views such EU initiatives as positive given that it “has a security problem, and a big one at that.”

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