Exploratory talks are not negotiations, says foreign ministry official


Next week's exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey over contested maritime claims in the Aegean are confidential discussions and not negotiations, the Greek Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou said on Thursday, during a press briefing.

The talks between the NATO allies are set to begin in Istanbul on January 25, after a four-year pause.

“They are not negotiations. They are contacts. No obligations or commitments are made between the two parties. No minutes are kept. No third party is involved, it is only between the two sides. No briefings are made on the content of the exploratory contacts,” he told journalists.

Papaioannou also said they are non-binding and their aim is to explore the “points of convergence” for possible future negotiations for the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.