ANKARA: Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias was on Thursday on a visit to Ankara to meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
During the talks, the Turkish government noted, “all aspects of bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece will be discussed as well as current regional issues”.
At the end of the meeting in the late afternoon there will be a joint press conference.
The mission is part of normalisation efforts between the two countries, marked by a resumption in January after a five-year halt of explorative talks to resolve numerous bilateral disputes.
Last summer, tensions between Ankara and Athens in the eastern Mediterranean had led to concerns of a military escalation. Tensions over Cyprus will also be among the issues to be discussed during the visit.
Immediately after the talks, Cavusoglu will travel to the northern part of the island under Turkish control since 1974. The meeting between the two heads of diplomacy has come ten days after a visit to Ankara by EU leaders.
The visit had initially been planned for Wednesday but was postponed due to a NATO foreign ministers summit. Dendias went on Wednesday morning to Istanbul to meet with the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, the highest authority of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The visit is the first between the two nations after tensions rose high in 2020 over maritime boundaries and energy exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, leading to a military buildup that featured warships from the two countries facing off.
Yet, recently, the two NATO allies have adopted a more conciliatory tone and have been seeking dialogue.
Turkish and Greek diplomats have since met in Istanbul and Athens, resuming a series of meetings designed to build trust between the historic regional rivals. The exploratory talks came after a five-year hiatus.