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Greece, Turkey Agree to Improve Ties Through ‘Positive Agenda’

Greece Turkey positive agenda
Greek and Turkish diplomats met in Ankara to discuss economic and trade issues. Credit: AMNA

Greece and Turkey have agreed to move ahead on the “positive agenda” items in bilateral relations after the fourth round of discussions on the Joint Action Plan.

The deputy foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece, Burak Akçapar and Konstantinos Fragkogiannis, held a meeting in Ankara on March 22 in the context of the Positive Agenda dialogue between Ankara and Athens, focusing on the economic and trade issues.

“A detailed update was made on the progress achieved over the 25 topics of the Positive Agenda list, such as cooperation and enhancement in the fields of entrepreneurship, tourism, energy, transport and telecommunications, maritime affairs, ICT, education, social security, health, and the environment. It was noted that many items have been successfully concluded,” said a joint statement.

“Satisfactory progress has been achieved on several other items on the list,” it added.

The meeting set the framework for the finalization of the relevant agreements that could be signed during the next high-level meeting, said the ministry.

Greece – Turkey positive agenda stepped up after deadly incidents

Despite a history of rivalry that goes back centuries, and the strained relations in the past few years over the clash of interests in the Mediterranean, the two neighbors have demonstrated solidarity over deadly incidents in the past two months.

Greece was among the first European countries to send rescue workers and humanitarian aid on Feb. 6, a few hours after the massive earthquakes in southern Turkish provinces. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias paid a visit to Turkey in a show of support after the quakes.

“I would like to convey to the Turkish leadership and the Turkish people the warmest condolences of the Mitsotakis government and the entire Greek people for the losses after the two devastating earthquakes,” Dendias said during a press conference with Cavusoglu in Antakya, referring to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“This is showing the solidarity of Greek people with Turkey and the Turkish population. Greece was one of the first countries to call and propose help to Turkey after the earthquake,” Cavusoglu added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 1 extended his condolences to Greece over a deadly train crash that claimed 57 lives. Erdoğan sent a message to Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Most recently Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey will support Greece’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

At a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, Cavusoglu confirmed that in return Greece will support Turkey’s bid to assume the presidency of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

RelatedEarthquake Diplomacy Sparks Hopes for Normalization Between Greece and Turkey

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