On the basis of dialogue and its value in problem-solving, the atmosphere in Ankara at the meeting between the Greek FM, Nikos Kotzias and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu was friendly and sincere.
The ministers met on Tuesday, October 24 at the Turkish ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the capital of Turkey.
Kotzias arrived in the city on Monday, October 23 and had a working dinner organised by Cavusoglou. IBNA sources said it was not a pre-planned event. Instead, Mevlut Cavusoglou made a last-minute-decision as he wanted to honour his guest and show him his appreciation for changing his schedule in order to travel to Ankara and meet with him.
General Secretaries of the Foreign ministries from Greece and Turkey, as well as the new ambassador of Greece to Ankara, Petros Mavroidis sat at the dinner table, where the Cyprus problem and the outcome of the Crans Montana meeting were discussed thoroughly.
In the afternoon of Tuesday, October 24, Kotzias and Cavusoglou held both a private and a wider meeting, where they focused on the 5th Greece-Turkey Supreme Council of Cooperation planned for February 2018, in Thessaloniki.
IBNA was told that during the 5th SCC, transports will play a major role, thus being the next step after the 4th SCC that was held in Izmir, in March 2016. In Ankara, they agreed on a better follow-up of all agreements that will be reached this time (in 2018) and more frequent talks between the ministers, the Gen. Secretaries, of the Heads of political offices and a better co-ordination among the two ministries.
Regarding the rest bilateral issues of interest, Greece mentioned the increase in migrant flows to some islands and was both sides agreed they should work more efficiently. Cultural co-operation and closer ties of universities were also part of the talks as, soon, Culture ministers from Greece and Turkey are to meet too. Moreover, both sides stressed the positive outcome of the Marine ministers meeting, reaching the conclusion that dialogue leads to solutions.
At the joint press conference and at the private and wider meetings, Turkey spoke of the eight Turkish military men who participated in the attempted coup of July 15th 2016 in Turkey and have applied for political asylum in Greece.
Turkish FM presented the issue broadly on social media but kept it low-key during the presser. Kotzias gave an explanatory answer saying that Greek Justice works independently so, there could be no political interaction while he underlined that Greece was the first country which condemned the coup, offering its utmost support to the elected Turkish government.
As far as regional developments are concerned, Cavusoglou and Kotzias discussed the situation in Syria and in the region after the Kurdish referendum without leaving out the potential to solve the crisis in the Gulf and how Libya could reach stability again.
Greek and Turkish sources told IBNA that we can talk about a successful meeting both with agreements and disagreements as is normal.
Early in the afternoon, Kotzias went to pay a visit to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ak Saray, accompanied by Cavusoglou. There too, the climate was warm and friendly with Kotzias officially inviting Erdogan to Greece. A visit that, according to IBNA’s unconfirmed sources, could take place even before the new year…/IBNA