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Greek, Turkish Foreign Ministers to Meet in Ankara

Greece Turkey meeting in Ankara
The Greek and Turkish foreign ministers are due to meet in Ankara. Credit: AMNA

The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey will meet in Ankara on April 14, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday.

Greek ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou told diplomatic correspondents that Nikos Dendias will visit Turkey to meet his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on April 14, if circumstances allow.

He added that the meeting will be the first in the last four years between the two countries’ foreign ministers in Ankara.

The two sides are expected to discuss issues pertaining to bilateral relations and regional cooperation, Papaioannou said.

EU warns Turkey to stop explorations in the Med

The meeting will take place a few weeks after the EU Summit, where European leaders decided to deepen trade ties with Turkey.

At the same time, however, they warned Ankara to expect sanctions if it restarts exploration of hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, a constant reason for friction with Greece.

“Turkey has shown a more constructive attitude,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters following the summit. “However, we also know this process of de-escalation remains fragile.”

“We call on Turkey to abstain from renewed provocations or unilateral actions in breach of international law,” EU leaders said in the statement, saying they will review progress in June.

Greece, EU ask Turkey to take back migrants

The meeting between Dendias and Cavusoglu comes also at a time when the EU and Greece are calling on Turkey to take back migrants from the Aegean islands.

Greece has expressed support for the European Commission’s proposal for the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The proposal concerns the management of the migration-refugee problem, where a disproportionate burden is currently being borne by the first-reception countries, such as Greece.

They also stressed the need for full implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Statement of March 18, 2016, according to which Ankara would take back asylum seekers from Greek islands who had their applications rejected.

“I call on Turkey to urgently resume the return of migrants from Greece,” said the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, during a visit to the island of Lesvos on Monday, which hosts more than 8,000 asylum seekers.

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