Thursday, July 25 2024

Mitsotakis - Erdogan lunch begins

Mitsotakis - Erdogan lunch begins

Shortly after 11:00 today, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrived at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople to attend the celebration of Orthodox Sunday, on the side of Patriarch Bartholomew.

Shortly afterwards, he left Fanari for Vahdetin Palace, in the Uskudar area of ​​the Asian side of Constantinople and is currently being received by the Turkish president, who will host a dinner in his honor. The meeting of the two men will last about two hours.

Before the start of the Divine Liturgy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for an end to the war in Ukraine.

“We are watching the drama of the Ukrainian people and admiring their strong resistance to the invader. We call for an immediate ceasefire. Violence and war create more complex problems. The war must end. The Charter of the United Nations explicitly prohibits the use of force in international relations and commits all members of the organization to settling their differences by peaceful means”.

The agenda of the Mitsotakis-Erdogan meeting

The meeting has been carefully prepared between the two staffs and that was the reason why the Greek side had avoided immediately confirming the Turkish leaks, until all the details were agreed. The existence of an agenda means, in essence, that the two leaders are not just having a free conversation, which can be diverted, mainly by actions of the Turkish side.

The focus of the discussion is on regional developments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also on security architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean. Mr. Mitsotakis’s message is that our region can not be a second source of geopolitical instability, so the tensions should be reduced, while he also sends a message to Mr. Erdogan that historical revisionism is not acceptable.

In such a discussion, it is obvious that our bilateral issues will also be discussed, with the Prime Minister ready, while the so-called “positive agenda” is on the table.

The new energy balances are also on the agenda, as the Eastern Mediterranean could act as an alternative hub, especially for LNG cargo, given Europe ‘s desire to become independent of Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

In Athens, of course, there are no excessive expectations from the meeting. From the Maximos Palace, however, they say that there should be a channel of communication and despite the disagreements, Greece and Turkey should talk, especially in this completely new geopolitical environment.