Gerapetritis is going to Turkey and Mitsotakis is meeting Erdoğan in New York

Giorgos Gerapetritis, Hakan Fidan

The pre-announcement of George Gerapetritis's visit to Ankara on September 5 to meet with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan is predicted to be less tense than other similar meetings in recent years. Athens says there has been less tension recently, although a Turkish fighter jet violated Greek air space this week, and there was a recent incident on the Green Line in Cyprus.

However, Greek-Turkish contacts in the near future are not expected to be that rare.

In the recent meeting they had in Vilnius, Proto Thema reported that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed, not simply to ease tensions, but to upgrade the environment of the Greek-Turkish dialogue, with Gerapetritis and Fidan taking over as "trustees" to enact this.

The first meeting of the Supreme Council of Greek-Turkish Cooperation since 2016 will take place in Thessaloniki, most likely in October, under the leadership of Mitsotakis and Erdoğan and with the participation of several ministers from the two sides.

In this light, Gerapetritis and Fidan are expected to define the next "milestones" of the dialogue, in which the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs will also be involved since the discussion framework will go beyond the established environment of exploratory contacts.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexandra Papadopoulou, who is in charge of political dialogue, will actively enter the "game". At the same time, the "positive agenda" will be handled, as in the previous period, by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for economic diplomacy, Costas Fragogiannis, who already had a meeting with the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar months ago.

At the same time, in the next period, the planning of the MOUs agreed upon at the level of defence ministers during the recent meeting of Nikos Dendias with his new counterpart, Yaşar Güler, in Vilnius will be discussed.

Gerapetritis and Fidan have a more immediate priority to discuss, namely, the context of the new appointment they will have in New York, specifically on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Mitsotakis and Erdoğan had their second meeting two months before the meeting in Thessaloniki.  Mitsotakis is expected to leave for New York on September 16, while Erdoğan will follow a similar schedule, with the two leaders' offices in contact to schedule the meeting.

After all, at the last meeting held in Vilnius, it was agreed that the two diplomatic advisers, Anna Maria Bura and Akif Çağatay Kılıç, would exchange numbers and open a direct diplomatic channel between the two offices.

Of course, a crucial parameter is the maintenance of the informal moratorium that is in force in the Aegean and has been observed without special deviations until now, with Turkish violations kept to isolated incidences in all the previous months.

With the climate that has formed, however, it is considered difficult for the next foreseeable period to have a reversal of the scene, given Turkey's attempt to create new balances with the West, after the path of autonomy of all the previous years that "wounded" the Turkish economy.

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