Mitsotakis to meet Erdoğan on Sunday in Turkey: Turkish media reports

Erdogan Mitsotakis on June 14, 2021. Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday in Turkey, according to Turkish media reports.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to be in the country's largest city of Istanbul next Sunday, specifically at the Patriarchate in Fanari.

After the pandemic, it is an opportunity for the first major religious gathering in Istanbul and it is known that the Prime Minister maintains close ties with both the Patriarchate and personally with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Prime Minister will head to Istanbul immediately after informal an informal meeting to be held on Thursday and Friday in Paris.

It is believed that Mitsotakis and Erdoğan will have lunch together.

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The Turkish media reports come as State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis said on Friday that he did not rule out a meeting between the two leaders, whilst also criticising Ankara’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis.

“We must maintain open channels of communication with Turkey. A meeting between the two countries’ leaders is necessary,” he said of the Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish president.

“Geography ties us together,” he said.

Furthermore, Gerapetritis described Ankara’s approach to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “ambivalent.”

“Turkey has sought to balance between its own political and diplomatic interests and the policy of the West, which is the imposition of severe sanctions [against Russia]. It is not the right attitude, but it is up to Turkey to decide,” he said.

“Turkey’s diplomatic status has not been upgraded,” he said.

Ankara, a NATO member with close ties to both Ukraine and Russia, has criticised the invasion as unacceptable, but has steered clear of the harsh rhetoric of other members of the alliance.

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