Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met in the United States on September 20 to discuss various issues, including bilateral relations, climate change and migration challenges.
Accompanied by Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers Hakan Fidan and Giorgos Gerapetritis, the leaders held discussions at the high-level annual United Nations General Assembly with the aim of fostering positive relations between the two neighboring nations.
During the meeting held at the Turkish House in New York, a new skyscraper located opposite the UN building, Erdoğan and Mitsotakis expressed their commitment to preserving the current constructive atmosphere in Turkish-Greek relations, according to the press release issued by the Türkiye Communications Directorate.
Additionally, the leaders confirmed a series of upcoming commitments agreed at a meeting of senior diplomats on September 5 in Ankara.
Planned interactions include a meeting of deputy foreign ministers in mid-October for political dialogue, a round of confidence-building talks scheduled for November, and the Turkey-Greece High-Level Cooperation Council meeting scheduled for December 7 in Thessaloniki.
In addition to focusing on bilateral relations, Erdoğan and Mitsotakis also addressed regional and international issues. Particular attention was paid to the increasingly widespread challenges posed by natural disasters and the climate crisis in the Mediterranean region.
Migration, a common concern for both countries, was another central topic on the agenda. The leaders committed to collaborative efforts to resolve this issue and requested their foreign ministers to continue their joint work and coordination on the agreed road map.
Mitsotakis, speaking after the meeting, expressed optimism about prospects for improved relations between the neighboring countries. “We agreed to continue working to deepen the positive climate that has been established in recent months in relations between Greece and Turkey,” he said.
The Greek Prime Minister also highlighted the importance of Turkey’s cooperation in managing migration flows, emphasizing its essential role in minimizing the challenges posed by this common issue.
Reflecting on the recent natural disasters and climate crisis affecting both countries, Mitsotakis concluded: “I believe that this area of cooperation can be deepened and can be the subject of some specific agreements to be signed within the framework of the Cooperation Council of high level. meeting to be held in Thessaloniki.”
The talks follow a series of steps taken to improve relations between the two neighbors, which have been strained due to similar territorial disputes, disagreements over maritime borders and different political ideologies.
These recent gestures began after a devastating earthquake struck southeastern Turkey in February, resulting in the loss of more than 50,000 lives. Greece was among the first countries to send rescue teams and offer aid to Turkey following the tremors.
The two countries have once again shown solidarity following a tragic train accident in northern Greece which claimed the lives of 57 people. Ankara quickly offered its condolences and assistance.