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Greece Has Made ‘good Progress’ in Normalizing Relations With Türkiye: Mitsotakis

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday that geopolitical tensions between Greece and Türkiye remain, but Athens has recently made “good progress” in normalizing relations with Ankara.

“We have made good progress over the past months in terms of normalizing our relations. And it is in our mutual interest to continue down that path,” Mitsotakis said in his address at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

His address comes a day after his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Turkish House in New York, during which the two leaders affirmed the “positive climate in the relations” between the two countries and their determination to preserve it.

President Erdogan and Mitsotakis also exchanged views on regional and international issues, including recent natural disasters, the climate crisis and migration in the Mediterranean region. They also agreed to work together to address migration, recognizing that it is a common challenge for both countries.

In his address, the Greek prime minister stressed that climate change and migration are two of the “greatest shared challenges” with Türkiye, both in the present and in the future.

Mitsotakis said he told President Erdogan that “our main difference over the delimitation of our maritime zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean is extremely important. It remains, but it can be resolved in accordance with international law and in particular, the United Nations Convention, the Law of the Seas and in the spirit of good neighborly relations.”

Turning to Cyprus, he said: “This remains unfortunately at its core an issue of an illegal invasion and occupation in violation of the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter.”

“Our commitment to Cyprus’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and a solution of one state based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation is steadfast,” he added.

He also said the Cyprus issue remains a “top priority for Greece” and Athens will continue to “fully support the UN-led efforts to facilitate the resumption of negotiations, always on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

‘Independent state’

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

According to President Erdogan, the federation formulas are “unrealistic and will not work,” and denying this fact is “nothing more than to impose insolubility on the Island.”

“The recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as an independent state is the only step that will contribute to the resolution of the Cyprus problem, and it is the most effective step,” he told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

“We don’t see any other options. We are determined to protect the TRNC’s rights to the end, within the framework of the guarantor right granted to us by international law,” he stressed.

Source : AA