Erdogan: Turkey’s renewed dialogue with Greece contributes to regional stability

Turkish leader says Ankara prioritizes all NATO initiatives aimed at ensuring stability in all regions of the world where there are problems

Erdogan: Turkey's renewed dialogue with Greece contributes to regional stability

Reviving the dialogue between Ankara and Athens to resolve existing problems will serve the stability of the entire region. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said this on Monday in a video address at a Brussels forum organised by the German Marshall Foundation (an organisation recognised as undesirable in Russia).

“Revitalising the channels for dialogue with our neighbour and ally, Greece, and resolving the issues we have will especially contribute to regional stability and prosperity”, –  he said. Erdogan stressed that  – “in its relations with its neighbours, Turkey respects the principles of international law, justice, mutual consideration of the rights and interests of the parties.”

The Turkish leader said Ankara gives “priority to all [NATO] initiatives aimed at ensuring stability” in all regions of the world where there are problems. “We are among the top five NATO countries contributing the most to the alliance’s missions,” he added.

Greece and Turkey have agreed to resume so-called exploratory contacts between the two countries, which should allow for a framework for negotiations on the issue of maritime zone delimitation (sea shelf and EEZ). Sixty rounds of such contacts had previously taken place over a 14-year period, which were interrupted in 2016 at the initiative of the Turkish side. On 16 March, the 62nd round of exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey took place in Athens and political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries took place on 17 March, following which it was reported that the Greek foreign minister accepted in principle an invitation to meet with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara.

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