x

Politics

PM Mitsotakis and Turkish President Erdogan Speak after Months of Tension

ATHENS — The leaders of Greece and Turkey spoke by phone Friday, the prime minister’s office says, after months of increasing tension between the two countries.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and issues relating to the reopening of borders and tourist visits after the end of lockdowns triggered by the virus, Mitsotakis’ office said.

The two “agreed to maintain bilateral channels of communication open,” it said in a statement.

Tension has been high between the two neighbors and NATO allies in recent months. Greece has accused Turkey of using migrants to pressure Greece, after Ankara declared in late February that Turkey’s borders to the European Union were open to all those who wanted to cross.

Thousands of migrants gathered at Turkey’s border with Greece, demanding to be allowed in. Similar scenes didn't play out on Turkey’s border with EU member Bulgaria.

Greece and Turkey are also at loggerheads over oil and gas exploration rights in the Mediterranean and over territorial issues in the Aegean Sea dividing the two countries. The two have come to the brink of war three times since the mid-1970s.

According to official in Athens with knowledge of the discussions, the two leaders didn't discuss anything related to the disputes, but agreed that the level of tension was too high and that direct communication at the highest level would be helpful and should continue.

Discussions focused on broader talks within the EU on the access of nationals from third countries when borders open to tourists. The official said Greece doesn't in principle object to supporting Turkey’s inclusion in the list of countries that would have access.

The official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the details of the call, spoke on condition of anonymity.

RELATED

ATHENS - The United States has a strong and historic relationship with Greece because it trusts it to act in a reliable way, US Ambassador George Tsunis said on Tuesday, at the first press briefing held after meeting with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias earlier in the day.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Pentagon Says More High-Tech Weapons Going to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world met Monday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a Harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.