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Mitsotakis meets Erdogan in Vilnius: A joint will for a cautious restart of Greek-Turkish relations

Featured Mitsotakis meets Erdogan in Vilnius: A joint will for a cautious restart of Greek-Turkish relations

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would meet at the Greece-Türkiye High-Level Cooperation Council in Thessaloniki in the autumn, speaking after the completion of the NATO leaders' summit  in Vilnius on Wednesday.

At a press conference in Lithuania, Mitsotakis said, "We confirmed our joint will for a new restart of our bilateral relations, for a cautious new beginning."

Elaborating about the framework of exploratory talks between the two countries, Mitsotakis said he envisions three main aspects for talks for good collaboration: a political dialogue led by both foreign affairs ministries towards solving the sole dispute, that of the delimitation of maritime zones; the confidence-building measures that can be fruitful; and the so-called positive agenda, which focuses on work carried out by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Economic Diplomacy & Openess Kostas Fragogiannis during the government's first term and encompasses the economic and energy sectors.

"All standing issues have not been resolved, obviously, but there is an intention for revisit the framework of our relations from a positive angle," Mitsotakis added.

He also noted that a lot has changed in the two countries' relations after the earthquakes in Türkiye and Greece's support to the country afterwards.

In this context, his one-hour meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier in the day confirmed the common will to draw a new course in the months ahead, noted Mitsotakis. He also mentioned that during the meeting he put forth Athens' concerns about what he called the Turkish Consulate's mingling in the country's internal affairs, but added that he cannot expand furter on "what was said behind closed doors."

Asked about the apparent US-Türkiye F-16 procurement agreement, Mitsotakis said this "concerns Greece only indirectly," and that it remains to be seen how this will be handled when the American government tables the relevant request in Congress.

Overall, Mitsotakis underlined that "it is now understood that armaments within the NATO context should not be used against another member of the Alliance."