Greek PM due to visit Turkey

Greek PM due to visit Turkey

Greek PM due to visit Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit Turkey at the weekend and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet him on March 13, local media has reported.

The visit comes amid an ongoing quarrel over Greece’s continued efforts of the armament of the islands that must be kept demilitarized according to international law.

Turkey blames Athens for continued provocations in the Aegean Sea and inflammatory rhetoric and actions. The latest of such moves came from Greek Deputy Defense Minister Nicholas Hardalias, who paid visits to the islands nearest to the Turkish coasts with demilitarized status.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, in a strong reaction to the Greek moves, stressed the sovereignty of these islands could be challenged if Greece continues to violate 1923-dated Lausanne and 1947-dated Paris conventions which strictly ban the armament of certain islands close to Turkey.

Greece has complained about Çavuşoğlu’s statement by writing a letter to the U.N. Security Council, while an EU spokesman criticized the Turkish foreign minister’s statement. Greece has intensified its armament efforts in the past years and signed comprehensive security deals with France and other regional governments.

Turkey and Greece had launched a new dialogue in early 2021 following a year-long tension in the eastern Mediterranean due to overlapping continental shelf claims. The process brought about a common effort to promote economic and trade ties in the context of positive agenda.