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Politics

At UN’s New York Opening, Mitsotakis, Erdogan Will Talk Again

September 19, 2023

NEW YORK – No agenda was given as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ruling their countries outright after winning re-election earlier this year, will pick up delicate talks again.

That’s during a rapprochement that came following Greece sending recovery teams after deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Turkey responding with condolences following a train tragedy in Greece.

It was also spurred by Erdogan wanting to renew Turkey’s hopes of joining the European Union, a process that began in 2005 and had worsened under his hard line rule that saw journalists jailed and dissidents harassed.

Erdogan had stopped talking to Mitsotakis, saying he “didn’t exist” for him after an address to the US Congress in May 2022 during which the Greek leader asked lawmakers to veto US President Joe Biden’s plan to sell Turkey more F-16s.

There’s been a turnaround from Erdogan’s having threatened to invade Greece, demanding Greek troops be taken off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast and saying he would send an energy research vessel off Greek islands.

The easing of tensions has seen both sides talking again and with plans to again start talking about so-called Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s) that hadn’t brought any confidence and dozens of other failed negotiations.

But Greece has largely left the thorny issue of a divided Cyprus off the table for now, Turkey refusing to recognize the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government that’s a member of the EU and keeping an army on the Turkish occupied side.

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