Greece-Turkey Relations, EEZ Delimitation, and Diplomatic Bridges

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced plans for a diplomatic visit to Ankara in May, signaling a potential breakthrough in bridging tensions between Greece and Turkey. In an interview with Skai TV,

Mitsotakis expressed optimism about the "sincere desire" from the Turkish side to alleviate the strained relations between the two countries.

Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Athens in December, Mitsotakis confirmed that if everything goes as planned, he will reciprocate the visit by traveling to Ankara next month. He stated, "There is a sincere desire on the part of the Turkish leadership to bridge the tensions… Even if we don't resolve the big thorn of the EEZ [exclusive economic zone] delimitation, we can agree to disagree in a civilized manner."

While highlighting the efforts for reconciliation, Mitsotakis emphasized Greece's commitment to enhancing its deterrent capabilities. This indicates that despite the potential for improved relations, Greece remains steadfast in protecting its own interests.

In addition to the developments with Turkey, Mitsotakis also addressed the strained ties with another neighboring country, Albania. He acknowledged that the conviction of Fredi Beleri has affected relations between the two nations. Mitsotakis expressed reservations about the handling of the judicial investigation and trial against the elected mayor of the predominantly ethnic-Greek city of Himare. However, he expressed hopes for a resolution, without providing further details on possible next steps.

The Prime Minister also commented on the ongoing investigation into the tragic Tempe train crash last year, which claimed the lives of 57 people, mostly university students. Mitsotakis stated that the "final word" on the matter rests with the justice system and criticized political leaders who he believes are using the tragedy for personal gain.

Addressing the concerns of overseas Greeks, Mitsotakis discussed the issue of conservative MEP Anna-Michel Assimakopoulou allegedly sending campaign material to overseas Greeks without their consent through their private emails. He called for a thorough investigation into the matter, acknowledging the need for an in-depth examination of the allegations.

Mitsotakis' planned visit to Ankara in May holds significant potential for de-escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey. As both countries navigate challenging issues, such as the EEZ delimitation, their ability to engage in constructive dialogue and find common ground will be crucial for promoting stability and fostering stronger bilateral relations.

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