Mar 21 2019

Turkey, Greece to focus on confidence-building measures

Turkish and Greek delegations will meet to discuss confidence-building measures meant to enable the neighbors to evaluate regional risks and opportunities, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported.

Çavuşoğlu and his Greek counterpart George Katrougalos met on Thursday in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya to detail the agenda set by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a bilateral summit early this year.

The two ministers discussed an array of issues including the recent tensions over gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus peace talks.

During the ministers’ joint press conference, Katrougalos said that Greece had accepted Turkey’s rights over gas reserves and supported Cyprus’ right to handle its resources in its own Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ)

Ankara says the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north part of the island, which is only recognised by Turkey, should have a fair share in the natural resources of Cyprus. Turkey has also made territorial claims overlapping with the EEZ of Cyprus.

“No project that does not include realistic,” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.  

Çavuşoğlu said Cyprus peace talks should be result-oriented and held according to a pre-determined framework. Greece suggests the resumption of failed peace talks held at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in 2017, but Çavuşoğlu said this was out of question.