Turkey-Greece talks held in positive atmosphere: Turkish FM
The 61st consultation meeting between Turkey and Greece held in Istanbul on Jan. 25 took place in an extremely positive environment, and the “exploratory” talks, which were restarted after almost a 5-year hiatus, have now turned into a “consultation meeting,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.
“During the consultation meeting in Istanbul, the topics discussed in 60 rounds so far have been reviewed. One or all problems cannot be expected to be resolved in one meeting. However, it was important that these meetings start,” Çavuşoğlu said on Jan. 27 at a press conference with his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney.
The next meeting will be held in Athens, and its date will be determined as soon as possible, he added.
Turkey wants the meetings to continue, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that the consultation on how to solve these problems will be beneficial for the two neighbors to reduce the tension at least for now and perhaps to find permanent solutions to these problems in the future.
“The issues we cannot agree on have existed for a long time. We aim to solve problems and to lower the tension,” he said.
He emphasized that it was also important to gather other bilateral mechanisms, such as re-establishing confidence-building meetings among the soldiers.
Exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece, meant to find fair and equitable settlements on issues in the Aegean, began in 2002.
After the 60th round of talks in March 2016, Athens suspended the meetings.
Bilateral talks continued in the form of political consultations but did not return to the exploratory framework.
Meanwhile, the foreign minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, will pay a visit to Turkey on Jan. 29, the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.
“During the visit, all aspects of our bilateral relations will be discussed, and views on regional and international issues will be exchanged,” the statement said.