Greek, Turkish diplomats wrap up talks


Greek and Turkish diplomats have wrapped up exploratory talks in Istanbul.

The talks lasted more than three hours.

The Greek delegation is expected to leave Istanbul at 3 p.m. (Greek time).

Reports said the Greek delegation was led by Pavlos Apostolidis, a seasoned diplomat that has led the delegation since 2010. The Turkish delegation was led by deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Cagatay Erciyes, head of the Foreign Ministry’s department looking into the eastern Mediterranean. Talks were also attended by Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

A statement is expected from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.

Greece had particularly low expectations of a substantial outcome due to the different agendas set by both sides. 

Greek government spokesman Christos Tarantilis told a press briefing on Monday Greece was “entering the talks in good faith and expects Turkey to act similarly.”

He reiterated the Greek position that the talks are unofficial and aimed at reaching common ground on maritime zones only.

The two NATO members made little progress in 60 rounds of talks from 2002 to 2016.

This is a developing story.