Mitsotakis, Erdogan to meet in Washington

Two leaders expected to hold brief talk on NATO Summit sidelines to review Greek-Turkish relations

Mitsotakis, Erdogan to meet in Washington

Although a meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not on the agenda, the Greek and Turkish missions at the NATO Summit in Washington have been in constant contact so that it can take place on Wednesday.

According to reports, the meeting will not be a long one nor will it be “all-encompassing” but will focus on reviewing what has been achieved recently in Greek-Turkish relations.

For Athens, moreover, such meetings are always welcome, even if they are brief, since, as Mitsotakis has publicly stated, “My meeting with Mr Erdogan should not be news.”

Upon his departure for the US, the Turkish president stressed that “Turkey is one of the top five allies that make the maximum contribution to NATO missions and operations,” underlining that Turkey is one of the countries that form “the backbone” of the Alliance. 

He also referred to the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus which he called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” saying it is a “a full member of the Turkic states,” stressing that “we are working on how to bring Northern Cyprus to the point of full membership.” He stressed that one of Turkey’s goals is to improve relations between Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar with the heads of these Turkic states as much as possible.

The second important issue for Athens during the three-day NATO summit is that of North Macedonia. Mitsotakis has long said that he would raise the provocations of the country’s leadership regarding its undermining of the Prespa name agreement it signed with Greece at the NATO Summit. This is fitting as North Macedonia became a NATO member as a result of the Prespa Agreement.

In fact, Mitsotakis was due to have a meeting on Tuesday night at the Council on Foreign Relations with Daniel Speckhardt, president and CEO of Corus International and former US ambassador to Greece, where he was expected to raise several issues, including North Macedonia. Government sources said the Greek PM was expected to say that the neighboring country “does not even respect the first page of this agreement.”

A formal meeting with the new prime minister of North Macedonia, Hristijan Mickoski, was not on the agenda, nor will it be, according to government sources. What has not been ruled out, however, is a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit. 

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