Turkish, Greek top diplomats to open Greek Consulate in İzmir
The Turkish and Greek foreign ministers, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Nikos Kotzias, will meet in İzmir on Sept. 4 for the inauguration ceremony of the renovated building of the Greek Consulate General in another move as part of the ongoing reconciliation between the two neighboring countries.
Kotzias’ visit to İzmir and planned meetings between the two ministers have been announced by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a written statement on Sept. 3. Çavuşoğlu will attend the inauguration of the Greek Consulate General along with his Greek counterpart.
“On this occasion, the two Ministers will have a meeting on the issues related to bilateral relations,” read the statement.
Despite a number of serious problems in ties, like Greece’s decision not to extradite eight FETÖ-linked fugitive soldiers to Turkey, Çavuşoğlu expressed Ankara’s intention to open a new chapter in bilateral ties in an interview with Greek Ta Nea newspaper over the weekend.
Turkey has recently released two Greek soldiers who have been arrested for border violation.
“The situation in our relations today is not to the benefit of our countries. Building trust is important. We should open a new chapter in our relations,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“We should continue the process of bilateral talks without any conditions. This is the way to solve our problems,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu briefly met his Greek counterpart Kotzias and Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Aug. 31 on the sidelines of the EU’s unofficial Gymnich meeting in Vienna.
Turkish Cypriot Minister in Ankara
Before traveling to İzmir, Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to meet Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay on late Sept. 3.
The two foreign ministers are to discuss United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s preparations for launching a new initiative for the political settlement of the Cyprus problem at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
They will also review the two sides’ approaches on coordinating Turkey’s future hydro-carbon exploration activities off the island.