Greece Prime Minister visits Turkey in attempt to diffuse tension between two countries
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visits Turkey on Tuesday, where he will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks to ease tensions over bilateral disputes and the long-running Cyprus problem.
The two leaders are expected to discuss disputed Cyprus energy exploration, Aegean sea issues, a migrant deal and economic cooperation though analysts see little concrete progress.
“We are going through a difficult period in our relations with Turkey, which is why we have to continue to discuss,” Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told KritiTV.
“This visit can contribute to de-escalation of tensions.”
In December 2017, Erdogan became the first Turkish president to visit Greece in 65 years. But he stunned his hosts when he asked for a revision of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty that defines the borders of modern Turkey after the collapse of Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish leader also denounced “discrimination” of Greece’s Muslim minority in northern towns like Komotini, near the border, citing a chapter in the treaty about minority rights, which he said had not been “respected”.
“During my visit, I think we will have the opportunity to continue the difficult but frank dialogue that began in December 2017,” Tsipras said in an interview with the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu ahead of the visit.