Turkey-Greece ties enter ‘new phase’ governed by ‘normality’: Greek FM

Greece’s foreign minister says that the meeting between the countries’ leaders marks a new era governed by “productive normality.”

  • Turkey, Greece relations enter 'new phase': Greek FM
    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posing before a meeting in Ankara, on Monday, May 13, 2024 (AFP)

The meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis signaled a new era of relationships between the two countries, Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said on Tuesday.

“I think that after yesterday’s meeting, we are entering a new phase in terms of Greek-Turkish relations … This phase is governed by a normality, as the prime minister said, productive normality,” Gerapetritis told the ERT broadcaster in an interview.

Erdogan received Mitsotakis in Ankara at the end of last week, and both leaders held a summit on Monday.

Read more: Greece, Turkey vow better relations following devastating earthquake

Gerapetritis further elaborated that normalcy entails the capability to address mutual concerns without exacerbating them into conflicts or crises.

“I especially want to emphasize that, at a time when hostilities in our wider region are unprecedented, I think being able to have a state of stability and peace in our own region is extremely important,” he said.

“I think both sides understand that, especially today, it is of great value to be able to have greater peace in our region.”

Ties with Greece to be raised to unprecedented level: Erdogan

Erdogan said on Sunday that he intends to strengthen bilateral relations with Greece and raise them to a historically unprecedented level.

“Despite disagreements, we focus on a positive agenda by keeping our dialogue channels open,” he said in a joint press conference with the Greek premier. “Looking towards the many things that unite us, we wish to intensify our bilateral contacts in the coming period.”

For his part, Mitsotakis reiterated his country’s support for Turkey’s accession into the European Union, “despite great difficulties … on the condition it integrates to the European acquis.”

For decades, NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been embroiled in disputes, with the threat of armed conflict looming on numerous occasions. Contentious issues include conflicting territorial claims in the Eastern Mediterranean, notably in the Aegean Sea region, the Greek-Turkish partition of Cyprus, and disagreements over maritime boundaries.

Meanwhile, Turkey has consistently accused Greece of deploying armaments on the Aegean Islands, alleging violations of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty.

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