As Greece’s Prime Minister concluded his 50 minute ‘cordial’ meeting with this Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit agreeing that the tensions of 2020 cannot be repeated, so did later US President Joe Biden have his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, thus concluding the summit with an anti-climax of niceties and no specifics, nor concrete action.
Following the Mitsotakis – Erdogan meeting, Greek Government sources clarified that “a series of very significant differences still exist, the main one being the delimitation of maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.” These differences will have to be dealt with in the context of International Law, exploratory talks, Confidence-Building Measures and political consultations, it was added; this would be a framework of communication “which can lead to the easing of tension,” they stressed.
Greece’s opposition leader, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had warned beforehand in an media interview that he had ‘low expectations ‘ of the meeting between Mitsotakis and Erdogan adding that “the only thing that Mr. Mitsotakis could gain, in my opinion, is a summer moratorium, in order to avoid a repeat of last summer, where [Turkey] ended up conducting research six miles off our islands.”
Erdogan – Biden Meeting
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described his first meeting with US President Joe Biden as “productive and honest”, noting that there are no unresolved problems between the two countries.
In his presser, Erdogan said that during his “extended talks” with Biden, they covered many issues, such as their cooperation on regional issues. He also stressed his long-standing friendship with the US leader and described the meeting as “positive for the future”, the first between them since Biden took over the US presidency in January.
According to Erdogan, Biden told him he might visit Turkey. Erdogan said he conveyed to Biden Turkey’s position on the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system and the issue of US F-35 fighter jets, the US program from which Ankara was excluded.
On Afghanistan, Erdogan said he conveyed “clearly” Ankara’s view that Turkey would continue to talk to the Taliban. He added that he considers US support in the economic, logistical and diplomatic spheres very important, if Turkish forces are not requested to leave the country. Turkey has said it is willing to take over the security of Kabul International Airport.