Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold a face to face meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday afternoon. The two leaders will be alone with translators only.The meeting is considered as an opportunity to take a further step closer in Greek-Turkish relations, government sources told state-run news agency amna.
The sources noted that this builds on the two rounds of exploratory talks held previously and an exchange of visits by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Ankara and Athens, respectively.
The same sources said that it’s a standing position of the Greek government that channels of communication with Turkey remain open despite the often differing and in many cases diametrically opposed positions of the two sides on many issues. A de-escalation of Turkish actions and rhetoric was a constant goal in order to make a gradual improvement in relations possible, they added.
As the prime minister said in an interview on Sunday with France 24, Athens is striving for a summer season without tensions and makes sure to highlight at every opportunity that Turkey’s behaviour toward Greece and Cyprus directly reflects on its relations with the European Union, especially in the light of the upcoming European Council on June 24-25 where progress in EU-Turkish relations will be reviewed.
Based on the official schedule, Mitsotakis is to meet Erdogan after the conclusion of the NATO summit at 17:05 Greek time.
The Greek premier arrived in Brussels at noon and he will hold meetings also with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama before the summit begins at 14:00.
PS Sadly, US President Joe Biden will also have a meeting with Erdogan but not with Mitsotakis.