Turkey, Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan. 25

By Tuvan Gumrukcu and Renee Maltezou ANKARA/ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey and Greece will resume long-suspended exploratory talks over territorial claims in the Mediterranean Sea that brought them close to conflict last year, on Jan.

Reuters January 12, 2021 03:10:24 IST
Turkey, Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan. 25

Turkey Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan 25

By Tuvan Gumrukcu and Renee Maltezou

ANKARA/ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey and Greece will resume long-suspended exploratory talks over territorial claims in the Mediterranean Sea that brought them close to conflict last year, on Jan. 25 in Istanbul, the NATO members said on Monday.

Ankara and Athens held 60 rounds of talks from 2002 to 2016, but plans for a resumption of talks last year foundered after disagreement over a Turkish seismic exploration vessel deployed to disputed waters. The ship has since returned to Turkish shores.

"The 61st round of the Exploratory Talks will take place in Istanbul on 25 January 2021," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, without elaborating. The Greek Foreign Ministry confirmed the date and location in a statement but provided no further details.

Earlier on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he was inviting Greece for talks by the end of January on all issues, adding that Athens "has no excuse" since the Oruc Reis returned to Turkey.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said later that Athens was seeking a "fertile and productive" relationship with its neighbour Turkey, adding his government would join the talks once finalised.

Turkey and Greece are at odds over the extent of their continental shelves in the Mediterranean, energy rights in the region, air space and the status of some islands in the Aegean Sea.

Their dispute threatened to spill into open conflict when Turkish and Greek warships collided in August as they shadowed the Oruc Reis as it surveyed for oil and gas west of Cyprus.

Previous attempts to resume the talks had been complicated by what both sides were prepared to discuss. The Greek Foreign Ministry said on Monday it was willing to talk about demarcation of an Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf.

Ankara has said all issues between the NATO members should be discussed, saying that was the format before the talks were suspended in 2016.

On Monday, Cavusoglu said he was ready to meet Greek Foreign Minister Niko Dendias in Tirana after Albania's premier offered to mediate. He also said some European Union members, including Germany, which has mediated the dispute thus far, had urged Greece to engage with Turkey.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Renee Maltezou; Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou in Athens; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.