Turkish, Greek officials to meet to discuss ‘positive agenda’

Turkish, Greek officials to meet to discuss ‘positive agenda’

Turkish, Greek officials to meet to discuss ‘positive agenda’

Senior officials from Turkey and Greece will meet to discuss political and economic ties within the context of “positive agenda,” as well as their disagreements stemming from the Aegean Sea in Athens amid an ongoing quarrel over the latter’s armament of the islands close to Turkey’s coasts in violation of international law.

A statement issued from the Turkish Foreign Ministry over the weekend informed that Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal will meet Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragkogiannis in Athens on Feb. 21.

The meeting will take place in the context of the positive agenda dialogue between the two neighboring countries, focusing on the economic and trade sectors.

“It is the third meeting of the two officials on the positive agenda initiative, which was initially agreed between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Ankara, in April 2021. The previous two meetings were held in Kavala on May 28-29, 2021, and in Antalya on June 16, 2021,” the ministry recalled.

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 the economic and trade ties in the context of positive agenda.

A day after the political and economic talks, the two countries’ delegations will meet for the 64th round of the consultative talks in Athens on Feb. 22. These talks had started in the early 2000s as exploratory talks for finding ways to resolve the Aegean problems between the two countries.

After a four-year hiatus, these talks resumed in January 2021 after the start of a de-conflicting mechanism at NATO.

These two meetings come at a moment when the two sides are in a quarrel over the demilitarized status of some of the Greek islands near the Turkish coast. Turkey accuses Greece of provoking Turkey by inflammatory statements and continued efforts of arming the islands at the expense of violating the Paris and Lausanne treaties.