Angela Merkel will make her final official visit as German Chancellor to Greece on October 29.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly invited the outgoing Chancellor to visit the Greek capital during an EU Summit meeting in Slovenia earlier this month.
Merkel accepted the invitation, but could not confirm a date for the visit. Now, it seems that she will visit the country at the end of October, after she completes her visit in Turkey.
The German Chancellor’s visit to Turkey
While on her final visit to Istanbul on Saturday, Merkel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leaders discussed the pressing topics of migration and tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Most notably, the two leaders discussed the issue of migration during their meeting on Saturday.
Since the refugee crisis began in 2015, Germany has accepted millions of migrants and refugees, many of who entered Europe from the Middle East and Asia through Turkey, into the country.
Merkel, who has lead Germany for the past 16 years, enjoyed a friendly relationship with Turkey throughout her term, despite periods of crisis.
Erdogan took power in Turkey just two years before Merkel became German Chancellor in 2005. The Turkish President stated during a press conference in Istanbul Saturday that he hopes “that our successful work with Mrs Merkel will continue in the same way under the new government.”
The German Chancellor quelled any fears about future relations between the countries by expressing that the incoming government, which will be formed from a coalition by multiple political parties, would continue the goodwill.
“We always have common interests, and that’s how the next federal government will see it,” Merkel stated during her visit.
Mentioning Greece, Erdogan stressed that although Turkey cannot accept more refugees, the country will not keep its borders closed and send refugees back to countries where they may be in danger, “like Greece did.”
In reference to relations between Greece and Turkey, Merkel stressed the continued need for discussion and diplomacy between the neighboring countries.
Germany shares a close bond with Turkey as more than three million people of Turkish origin are naturalized German citizens.
Angela Merkel not popular in Greece
According to the Pew Research Center, the departing German Chancellor has been rated positively in almost all of the 16 advanced economies surveyed in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
However, Greece stands out as the nation where Merkel’s work is rated negatively by seven out of 10 Greeks.
Along with its Chancellor, the majority of Greeks do not have a positive view of the nation of Germany in regard to its overall influence in the European Union.
Specifically, only 30 percent of respondents in Greece believe in Merkel to do right in global affairs and only 32 percent have a favorable view of Germany.