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Greece Turkey High-level Cooperation Council To Take Place In Athens

Greece PM Mitsotakin meets Turkey President Erdogan
Greek PM Mitsotakis and Turkey President Erdogan last met on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in NYC. Credit: Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye

A new meeting of the Greece-Turkey High-level cooperation council (HLCC) has been scheduled for December 7, after a seven-year hiatus during which tension in Greek-Turkish relations came to a brink.

The upcoming meeting is seen as one more step in the direction of improving Greek-Turkish relations, sources told AMNA on Friday.

The HLCC strives to signal a mutual will for cooperation that benefits both countries, and the normalization of their relations in a spirit of mutual sincerity and good neighborly relations, given that it is taking place after the conclusion of the first round of the road map of contacts that had been agreed by the foreign ministers of the two countries, AMNA reports.

“The aim is to establish calm and for the improvement in bilateral relations to be sealed with agreements that benefit both countries. The disagreements remain, but the goal is that the disagreements should not generate bilateral crises,” the sources said.

First meeting of the HLCC since 2016

The Greece-Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council was inaugurated thirteen years ago, during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to Athens in May 2010. Subsequent meetings were held in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

As tensions grew between the two countries since the last meeting of the HLCC, a new “positive agenda” was established in early 2021 to promote economic, trade, and business cooperation between Greece and Turkey.

The series of five thematic “positive agenda” meetings between Greece and Turkey have taken place, most recently the one in Athens on October 16, 2023, between Greek Deputy Minister Fragogiannis and his Turkish counterpart Akcapar. Previous meetings were held in Kavala (May 29, 2021), Antalya (June 16, 2021), Athens (February 21, 2022), and Ankara (March 22, 2023).

These have gradually led to the unfreezing of the HLCC meetings.

According to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the 5th Round of Greek-Turkish talks in the context of the “positive agenda,” the two sides reaffirmed their mutual goal to produce concrete results on related issues for the 5th High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC), which will take place on December 7 in Greece.

The issues to be discussed include entrepreneurship, tourism, transportation, energy, sciences, technology, agriculture, environment, social security and health, youth, education, and sports.

Programme of the 5th Greece-Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council

In correspondence to the key pillars of cooperation that have been agreed jointly at the highest political level, participants in the 5th HLCC meeting will include the the two countries’ ministers of defence, migration, culture, tourism, finance, and education, besides foreign affair ministers.

The 5th HLCC meeting will start on the morning of December 7 with bilateral contacts between the ministers of Greece and Turkey.

At the same time, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Maximos Mansion with the same teams as during their previous meetings in Vilnius and New York.

The two leaders will then hold a joint press conference and jointly chair a meeting of the full HLCC over a working lunch.

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