Mitsotakis and Erdoğan will announce a Declaration of Friendly Relations between Greece and Turkey

Mitsotakis Erdogan

Based on the official schedule, at around 12:15, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his entourage will cross the threshold of the Maximos Palace. It will be the third meeting of the Turkish president with Kyriakos Mitsotakis in less than six months after Vilnius and New York, and with more to come, according to Proto Thema.

The better climate in Greek-Turkish relations is expected to be reflected in the Declaration of Friendly and Good Neighbourly Relations that the two leaders will announce during their joint statements. It will be a text in the form of a joint communique for the Supreme Cooperation Council, which will describe the progress achieved in bilateral relations and the positive prospects foreseen if the good climate continues.

The text in question was elaborated in the previous days by the two foreign ministries and the diplomatic offices of the two leaders and is undoubtedly important, given where Greek-Turkish relations were at this time last year.

The text's existence was revealed yesterday by Erdoğan himself, speaking to Kathimerini and saying that he hopes it will be signed during his visit. According to Proto Thema, there will be a reference to the preservation of the good climate and good neighbourly relations in the text, a reference that will constitute an exhortation for "calm waters" in the Aegean Sea.

The text in question may not have the binding force of bilateral agreements, but it is, in fact, an agreement on an informal moratorium. At the same time, the dynamic development of Greek-Turkish relations in many fields will be highlighted.

The agreements and the subsequent meetings

Based on the latest update from the Maximos Palace, Greece and Turkey will sign approximately 15 bilateral agreements and memoranda of cooperation between ministries and organisations, such as Enterprise Greece. The agreements extend from immigration to the prospect of organising a Hackathon by the two countries.

They will be announced after the Mitsotakis-Erdoğan statements, without signing signatures in front of the cameras. At the same time, according to the joint statements, it is expected that the granting of seven-day visas to Turkish citizens for visits to 10 Greek islands will also be announced.

Another key topic of discussion between Mr. Mitsotakis and Mr. Erdoğan will be the systematisation of bilateral contacts at all levels. Mr Erdoğan is expected to invite Mr Mitsotakis to Turkey in the first months of 2024, while Hakan Fidan is expected to come here perhaps at the beginning of next year after the invitation of Giorgos Gerapetritis.

The same applies to the Deputy Foreign Ministers Alexandra Papadopoulou and Costa Fragogianni, who will be in Turkey for the political dialogue and the positive agenda, respectively, given that their counterpart Burak Akçapar had visited Athens in mid-October.

Coolness and preparation

Mr Erdoğan, however, yesterday "stirred up" the waters with his interview with Kathimerini, although it had nothing to do with the corresponding TV interview he had given to SKAI in December 2017, shortly before he arrived in Athens when he brought up the question of revision of the Treaty of Lausanne and almost torpedoed what had been agreed.

The Maximos Palace yesterday said that Mr. Erdoğan's positions are known, but the Greek positions are also known and stable. The same sources added that it is not Greece that has moved, but Mr Erdoğan has gone from "Mitsotakis yoke" to "My friend, Kyriakos."

Also, Maximou says that for The Hague, a co-promissory note is required, so an agreement on the points of disagreement.

In any case, the government believes that the meeting will go well. In case, however, Mr. Erdoğan says something in the leaders' statements after the conference that needs an answer, then the answer will be given.

The ministers and the program

Based on the planning, Erdoğan will arrive in Greece around 11:00, while at the airport, he will be welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Gerapetritis. Immediately after, he will head to the Presidential Palace to meet Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The ministers accompanying him will be divided between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs buildings and elsewhere for their meetings with their Greek counterparts. After 1:30 p.m., lunch is planned at the Maximos Palace, which will also be the plenary session of the Supreme Cooperation Council, while Mr Erdoğan is expected to have left by 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Erdoğan's entourage will be numerous, as we are talking about 95 to 100 people; otherwise, in the ministerial appointments and beyond Giorgos Gerapetritis, who will see Hakan Fidan, Defence Minister Nikos Dendias will speak for the first time on Greek soil with Yaşar Güler.

Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs Kostas Fragogiannis and Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou are going to meet Burak Akçapar.

However, officials from the two sides who do not have mandatory bilateral appointments, such as the Minister of State Stavros Papastavrou and the Director of Communication of the Turkish Presidency, Fahrettin Altun, will also participate in the lunch of the Supreme Cooperation Council.

MIT head İbrahim Kalın and a secret adviser to Mr Erdoğan are expected to be in Athens but will not participate in the work of the High Cooperation Council.

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