Both Ankara and Athens aim to avoid further tensions in the region and seek stability in the Middle East, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandra Papadopoulou said Tuesday.
“I read a lot of analyses in the newspapers that the crisis in the Middle East will negatively affect the Greek-Turkish dialogue. I am of the opposite opinion that it will affect it positively,” Papadopoulou said in a speech at a conference in Athens, according to public broadcaster ERT.
“Because both Türkiye and Greece, regardless of the different approaches, the different goals, and the different worldviews they may have, have a common interest: They cannot live in an exploding region and the explosion right now in the Middle East concerns both of us,” she said.
Türkiye has been trying to facilitate diplomatic channels to push for a cease-fire amid incessant Israeli airstrikes, which killed thousands and destroyed hospitals, homes, schools, marketplaces, churches, mosques, refugee camps and more.
On the other hand, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis affirmed the “positive climate” in relations during a meeting in September in New York.
The leaders confirmed the roadmap and timeline of bilateral contacts as agreed in an earlier meeting of foreign ministers in Ankara.
Türkiye and Greece have often locked horns over several issues, including competing claims to jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean, overlapping claims over their continental shelves, maritime boundaries, airspace, energy, the ethnically split island of Cyprus, the status of the islands in the Aegean Sea and migrants. Tensions flared in 2020 over exploratory drilling rights in areas of the Mediterranean Sea – where Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration claim exclusive economic zones – leading to a naval standoff.
Eventually, and as part of Türkiye’s peace diplomacy based on normalizing ties with countries it had strained relations with, the two countries decided to improve their ties. A friendlier climate was triggered by Greece sending assistance to Türkiye following two devastating earthquakes and Türkiye offering condolences after a deadly train crash in Greece earlier this year.
Source : Daily Sabah