Greece, Turkiye ready to develop bilateral relations in positive way

ANKARA, March 12: Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar held a meeting with his Greek counterpart, Alexandra Papadopoulou, here during which they reaffirmed their readiness to develop relations positively, exploring opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

“In addition to various aspects of bilateral relations, regional and international issues were discussed during the meetings. The two sides reiterated their joint commitment to build on the existing positive atmosphere in line with the Athens Declaration signed last December by the leaders of the two countries, exploring further areas of bilateral and international cooperation,” said a joint statement following their meeting.

Akcapar and Papadopoulou also reviewed preparations for the upcoming visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Turkey in May.

NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been at odds for decades, with the risk of an armed conflict arising several times. The disputed issues include competing territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean, in particular in the region of the Aegean Sea, the Greek-Turkish divide in Cyprus, and the delimitation of maritime boundaries. Turkey has repeatedly accused Greece of deploying weapons on the Aegean Islands in violation of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a meeting with Mitsotakis in Athens in early December 2023 that there are no issues between Turkiye and Greece that cannot be resolved. The Greek prime minister echoed these remarks, saying that Greece and Turkiye should live in peace, while disagreements should not immediately cause tensions.