Turkey and Greece will try to deal with differences over maritime borders and offshore energy resources for the first time since 2016.
Turkish and Greek foreign ministries said late Monday that diplomats from both countries would meet in Istanbul on 25 January. Greek authorities have refused to expand the scope of negotiations for long-running disputes with Turkey.
Arrives only a few weeks after the announcement The European Union pledged to expand the number of Turkish authorities approved to search for the country’s energy in the disputed waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. This week Cyprus, Greece and France put together a list of potential new targets.
“I believe exploratory talks with Greece will be the precursors of a new era,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told ambassadors of EU member states in Ankara on Tuesday. At the same time, Erdogan urged Greece “to avoid fuel stress” in the eastern Mediterranean.
Ankara and Athens are locked in demonstrations of conflicting interpretations of maritime boundaries. Countering claims of sovereignty over waters rich in hydrocarbon reserves by 2020 leading to a naval standoff between Greece and Turkey.
one more The fork in this regard is Turkey’s continued control of northern Cyprus, which it seized after an attempted coup in which a military junta in Athens sought to unify the island with Greece.
Cyprus and Greece say Turkey’s maritime claims violate their sovereignty and repeatedly demand that the European Union impose economic sanctions. Such demands have so far failed to secure a unanimous victory for the member states of the European Union, with many fearing Ankara would break ties with Ankara.
EU pledges to expand Turkish sanctions list in measured warnings
Erdogan dismissed his mostly confrontational rhetoric towards the 27-nation bloc in recent months, saying his country wanted a new chapter in its relations with the European Union. His government also ordered an energy exploration ship to limit its work to an area far from the Greek islands until 15 June after Greece was angered by the ship’s operations.
On Tuesday, Erdogan urged the European Union to honor its promises to Turkey, including updating their customs union and meeting visa requirements for Turkish citizens. He also called for updating the 2016 deal, by which Turkey halted the flow of migrants towards Europe in exchange for financial support.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addressed the European Union ambassadors on Tuesday, stating that he and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias have agreed to meet in Istanbul after exploratory talks.
But a Greek diplomat said that no such agreement has been reached for the meeting between the ministers.
Conflicts that keep Turkey and Greece strange: QuickTech
Week leading till There will be some increased tension in the talks. A senior Brussels diplomat said that this week Cyprus, Greece and France have jointly submitted a list of other Turkish officials they would like to see approved on their country’s drilling operations off the coast of Cyprus.
The blacklist conducted so far consists of only two people and has no material consequences for Turkey’s economy. EU officials will begin a debate on proposed additional lists next week, although it is unclear whether the latest push will be better than previous efforts.
Meanwhile, the Greek government has presented two bills to Parliament that may offend Ankara.
To confirm the expansion of the country’s western territorial waters in the Ionian Sea at a distance of six to 12 nautical miles for the first time, some Greece also has the right to do in the contested Aegean. The second proposal is for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets from France after months of military saber-rattling in the region. Voting on both Bills is expected in the coming days.
– assisted by Paul Tugwell
(Updates with Greek diplomat commentary in 11th paragraph.)