Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly in New York on Sept. 18 to try to improve relations.
(Bloomberg) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly in New York on Sept. 18 to try to improve relations.
The Turkish and Greek foreign ministers confirmed planning for the meeting between their leaders after a meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.
Erdogan has stepped up efforts to bolster ties with allies in the region and is now seeking common ground with recently reelected Mitsotakis to solve conflicts.
“We have entered a new and positive era in our relations with Greece,” Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told reporters after meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Gerapetritis. “We’ve agreed to bring new approaches to solve problems.”
While the two countries remain at loggerheads on border disputes from the Aegean to the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey was ready to develop dialog with Greece without preconditions, he said.
It’s necessary “to build on what unites us and to better understand what divides us,” Gerapetritis said.
The mission of the two ministers is to resolve issues that arise between the two countries and to prepare the contacts of the two leaders so that a lasting, strong political mandate emerges at the highest level, he said.
Erdogan and Mitsotakis last met in July during a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Lithuania, raising hopes that they could work to defuse long-running disputes over maritime borders and reduce tensions between their militaries from the Aegean Sea to the energy-rich Mediterranean.
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Fidan and Gerapetritis also discussed an upcoming Greek-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council meeting scheduled to take place before the end of the year in Thessaloniki. The council first met in 2010 and its last session was held in 2016.
(Updates with Turkish, Greek minister comment from fourth paragraph.)
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