Greece and Turkey”s foreign ministers are due to meet on Monday amid renewed tensions over rival claims to energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey’s foreign affairs minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has already angered officials in Greece by visiting representatives of the Greek Muslim community in Thrace and complaining of “unequal civil rights”
Cavusoglu is due to meet Nikos Dandiest and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis later on Monday.
George Tzogopoulos, a senior research fellow at the Institute of European and International Studies and International Relations and lecturer at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, believes both sides are eager to start the high-level talks:
“That’s why Foreign Minister Cavusoglu is in Athens today, a visit that is following day one of his Greek counterpart in Ankara a few weeks ago. So what we are observing is that the two sides are prepared to talk, but this does not mean that the talks will yield results,” Tzogopoulos said.
“I’m optimistic that the two sides are prepared to defuse tensions, but I’m not optimistic that there is any chance for a breakthrough in solving the problems themselves.
The question is up to what extent diplomacy can work behind closed doors. It seems to me that it is difficult for breakthroughs to be expected.”
It is understood the two foreign ministers are preparing to lay the groundwork for their leaders, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and President Erdogan, to meet on the sidelines of the NATO summit in two weeks.
“Perhaps this can bring some new hopes, but still, I’m very reserved judging on the previous historical experience about the failure in reaching compromises,” concluded Dr. George Tzogopoulos.
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