Greek defense minister to visit Türkiye

Greek defense minister to visit Türkiye

Greek defense minister to visit Türkiye

Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos will visit Türkiye upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar.

Akar and Panagiotopoulos will visit the quake-hit southern Hatay province on April 4. The two ministers will also have a bilateral meeting.

Speaking over the phone on March 9, the two ministers agreed on the development of an agenda based on good neighborly relations between the two countries.

Türkiye and Greece are at odds over some differences in the Aegean Sea, including territorial waters, airspace and other disputed matters. Ankara also accuses Athens of continued violation of 1923 and 1947 treaties that stipulate demilitarized status to the Greek islands in proximity to the Turkish mainland.

Despite a history of rivalry that goes back centuries and the strained ties in the past few years over the clash of interests in the Mediterranean, the two neighbors have stepped up for solidarity over deadly incidents in the past two months.

Greece was among the first countries to send rescue teams and offer aid to Türkiye after the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias paid a visit to Türkiye in a show of support after the quakes.

Accordingly, immediately after the train crash in northern Greece in which 57 people lost their lives, Türkiye offered condolence and aid.

After the accident, Türkiye allowed the transfer of a Greek prisoner to Greece to attend his son’s funeral.

On March 20, Çavuşoğlu and Dendias met in Brussels and decided to mutually support the candidacies of the two countries in international organizations.

The deputy foreign ministers of Türkiye and Greece, Burak Akçapar and Konstantinos Fragkogiannis, respectively, held a meeting on March 22 in the context of the Positive Agenda dialogue between Ankara and Athens focusing on the economic and trade sectors.

“A detailed update was made on the progress achieved over the 25 topics of the Positive Agenda list, such as the cooperation and enhancement in the fields of entrepreneurship, tourism, energy, transport and telecommunications, maritime affairs, ICT, education, social security, health and the environment. It was noted that many items have been successfully concluded,” said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

“Satisfactory progress has been achieved on several other items on the list,” it said.

The meeting set the framework for the finalization of the relevant agreements that could be signed during the next high-level meeting, said the ministry.

TURKEY, Diplomacy,