Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visits Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visits Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visits Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will pay a visit to Turkey on April 15 in a bid to achieve progress in bilateral disputes concerning the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

His visit comes amid calming tensions over territorial disputes between Ankara and Athens that erupted after Turkey’s 2019 maritime demarcation accord with Libya in the eastern Mediterranean.

He was scheduled to visit Turkey on April 14, but the planned visit was delayed by one day because of a scheduling conflict with a meeting of NATO ministers.

Dendias arrived in Istanbul on April 14 and met with the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew and returned to Athens on the same day. He will travel to Turkey again on April 15 for talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Last year, Ankara sent out several drillships to explore energy in the eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of Turkish Cyprus. The tension between Ankara and Athens calmed down in late 2019 after Turkey withdrew its seismic research vessel, Oruç Reis, from disputed eastern Mediterranean waters and launched talks with Greece.

In March, the Turkish foreign minister said talks between Çavuşoğlu and Dendias could be followed by a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“After Dendias’ visit, I am also planning to visit Athens at an appropriate time,” he added.

Diplomacy, East Mediterranean,