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Turkey, Greece to Resume Confidence-building Talks in November

It marks the latest of a series of steps taken by Ankara and Athens to solve their multiple disagreements through dialogue.

ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday agreed to resume confidence-building talks that were abandoned in 2022, the Turkish government announced. 

In a statement after the meeting between Erdogan and Mitsotakis on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the Turkish presidency’s communication directorate said the new round of talks will be held in November as part of “the current positive climate in relations between Turkey and Greece.” 

Mitsotakis described the meeting as “productive.” 

Erdogan and Mitsotakis also affirmed their resolve to follow the road map unveiled during Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis’ visit to Turkey earlier this month, the Turkish statement said. 

Under the road map, the two countries’ deputy top diplomats are set to meet for political talks in mid-October and the two countries will hold a high-level cooperation council in Thessaloniki in December, the first in seven years.  

The resumption marks the latest of a series of steps taken by Ankara and Athens to solve their multiple disagreements over contested territorial claims in the Aegean and Mediterranean through dialogue after yearslong tensions. 

The talks came to a halt last year at the peak of an escalation between the two NATO neighbors over conflicting territorial claims. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the formal suspension in May 2022 after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lobbied the US Congress against military sales to Turkey.

The devastating February earthquakes that killed at least 50,000 people in Turkey’s southeast provided an off-ramp to the tensions between Ankara and Athens. Following their re-elections in Turkey in May and in Greece in June, Erdogan and Mitsotakis first met on the sidelines of NATO’s Vilnius summit in July, airing their determination to uphold the “positive agenda” in their bilateral ties. 

Source : Al-Monitor