Greek PM highlights improvements in ties with Turkey over last year

(MENAFN) Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently highlighted significant improvements in relations between Greece and Turkey during a public debate at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. Mitsotakis acknowledged that after a period of turbulent bilateral relations lasting three years, there has been notable progress between the two NATO allies.

While noting that some fundamental Turkish positions in the Eastern Mediterranean remain unchanged, Mitsotakis pointed out positive developments, particularly in cooperation regarding irregular migration. He highlighted an agreement allowing Turkish citizens to travel to certain Aegean islands through a visa facilitation scheme as one of the constructive steps forward.

However, Mitsotakis also addressed ongoing tensions with North Macedonia, emphasizing Greece's stance on the 2018 Prespa Agreement. According to the agreement, the use of the name North Macedonia universally (erga omnes) was a crucial aspect, which Greece views as non-negotiable. Mitsotakis expressed concern over recent actions by North Macedonia's new government that he believes undermine the spirit of the agreement, particularly referencing statements using the name "Republic of Macedonia" domestically.

Greece's Foreign Ministry recently accused North Macedonia of irredentism following a social media post by President Gordana Siljanovska, which referred to a meeting with ethnic Macedonians from "Aegean Macedonia," a term concerning Greece's northern region of Macedonia. This incident has raised tensions, as Greece views such actions as counterproductive to North Macedonia's path towards European integration.

The Prespa Agreement, which led to the renaming of Macedonia to North Macedonia, was a significant diplomatic achievement aimed at resolving a long-standing dispute between the two countries and facilitating North Macedonia's accession to NATO.



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