US State Department welcomes Mitsotakis-Erdogan telephone call

The US State Department is reportedly pleased with the fact that the channels of communication between Athens and Ankara remain open, following the rare telephone call on Friday between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to reports, a State Department official stressed that as members of the NATO alliance, Greece and Turkey have a mutual interest in maintaining open channels of communication to promote cooperation and the peaceful settlement of their differences.

According to Maximos Palace, “the two leaders discussed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to address them, as well as issues related to the opening of borders and the restoration of tourist flows. Mr Mitsotakis and Mr Erdogan have agreed to keep bilateral communication channels open.”

The phone call between the two leaders was arranged by the Prime Minister’s diplomatic adviser, Ambassador Eleni Sourani, and the representative of the Turkish Presidency, Ibrahim Kalin.

The agreement reached between Sourani and Kalin was that Mitsotakis and Erdogan would discuss low-level policy issues in a first attempt to restore communication channels between Athens and Ankara.

The Prime Minister of Greece and the President of Turkey had not talked since December 4, 2019, when they met in London, on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

According to government officials, the two leaders reportedly noted that tensions had reached high levels and that communication channels needed to be restored, noting that diplomacy and reconciliation, with “broken” channels, could not take place.