Mitsotakis to meet Erdogan in Istanbul on March 13

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in Istanbul this coming Sunday, March 13, for lunch at the presidential residence, a government spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. The meeting will be held at the invitation of the President of Turkey.

Immediately after the meeting was leaked to the Turkish press, Erdogan’s close aide and Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Omer Celik said that all issues between the two countries would be on the agenda of the two leaders.

“There are many issues on which we cannot agree with Greece. Recently, we see how Greece turns problems that can be solved between us into problems between Turkey and the European Union,” Celic said.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that “despite our peaceful approach, our invitations and our calls for dialogue, some Greek politicians continue their provocative actions.”

Athens seems to be keeping a cool head, echoing the prime minister’s statement that he is always open to meeting with the Turkish president, especially in the new environment created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has created new problems for the two neighboring countries.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has dramatically changed the security situation in Europe, but at the same time shaken the unequivocal condemnation by the international community of all forms of expansionism and revisionism. The Prime Minister, in a positive mood meeting with the Turkish President, focused on the content and not on the rhetoric,” Greek government spokesman Giannis Ikonomou said. “Without illusions and, of course, without differentiation from the fixed and formulated positions of Greece, based on international law,” he stressed.

Regarding the agenda “set” by Celic, the Greek government spokesman said that Ankara has spoken about this a thousand times and Greece has always responded to them accordingly. Icon.

Greece’s view of disagreements with Turkey is well known and concerns the delimitation of maritime zones. Turkey is vehemently pushing for the demilitarization of the Greek islands, even threatening to challenge their sovereignty.

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