Mitsotakis and Erdogan engage in constructive dialogue at UN General Assembly

Mitsotakis and Erdogan engage in constructive dialogue at UN General Assembly
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The Greek and Turkish leaders meet in New York to foster better bilateral relations amid long-standing tensions.

During the recent UN General Assembly in New York, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The interaction, lasting for an hour and ten minutes, was described by Greek and Turkish media as having a "warm and friendly atmosphere".

According to the Greek news site NEWSIT, in attendance for Greece, alongside Prime Minister Mitsotakis, were Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis and Anna Maria Boura, the head of Mitsotakis' diplomatic office. On the Turkish side, President Erdogan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and his diplomatic advisor, Akif Cagatay Kilic.

The meeting started by addressing procedural matters, including decisions on how interpretation between the two sides would be managed.

A highlight of the event was the Greek Prime Minister's arrival at the "Turkish House"—the central hub of Ankara's diplomatic mission to the United Nations.

Inside sources from the Greek government stated that Greece's main objective is to preserve a peaceful ambiance. However, tensions arose when Erdogan recently called for recognizing two states in Cyprus at the UN, which Athens firmly opposed.

Despite these strains, Greece acknowledges the significance of the two leaders meeting for the second time since Erdogan commenced his recent presidential term. Their prior meeting took place in July on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Vilnius.

In an earlier interview with CNN, Prime Minister Mitsotakis expressed, "While we have long-standing difficulties with Turkey, our primary contention centers around the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf. Though not easily resolvable, we aim to find common ground and bolster our cooperation in civil protection and climate change areas. We might continue to hold divergent views on specific territorial issues, but it's essential to keep channels of dialogue open, a sentiment I'll emphasize in my discussions with Erdogan."