Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had his first meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York on Wednesday.
The pressing issue of increased outflow of migrants from Turkish to Greek shores, as well as Cyprus drilling, were discussed during the hour conversation
Greek government sources said the meeting was “in good spirits, and included many personal references exchanged between the two leaders,” with Mitsotakis telling Erdogan “I am glad to meet you in my new capacity,” during a handshake with the Turkish president in front of reporters’ cameras.
At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to prepare the Greece-Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council, while the attending Foreign Affairs ministers were immediately tasked to proceed with the necessary preparations.
Upon discussing the Cyprus issue, the Greek side, as per government sources, “expressed support for the Republic of Cyprus, as well as for Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal to secure a fair share for both communities on the island from the exploitation of Cyprus’ natural resources.”
Concerning refugee and migratory flows, it was agreed to make every effort to restrict flows at both the Turkish coastline and at sea.
Mitsotakis raised the issue of the reopening of the Halki Theological School, a topic that is reportedly being considered favorably by the Turkish side.
The Turkish side reportedly raised its own share of known issues, concerning the Muslim minority in western Thrace, and referred to two Ottoman cultural heritage monuments in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The meeting ended with the two men agreeing to work closely towards nurturing a better climate for the benefit of both peoples and for the region’s stability.