Davutoglu to visit Greece next month
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will visit Athens on December 5 and 6 to attend a bilateral cooperation meeting, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara announced on Monday, just two days after Greece and Cyprus signed a cooperation agreement with Egypt that aims to boost energy security and stability in the eastern Mediterreanean.
The daily Sabah said tat Davutoglu will cochair the third Turkey Greece High-Level Cooperation Council meeting along with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras. The visit is seen by many as en effort by Turkey to des-escalate tensions in the region when Turkey and Greece are said to be at odds over the divided island of Cyprus and peace talks to resolve the issue have stalled.
President Nicos Anastsaisdes suspended talks over the divided island on October 7 when Turkey sent a warship to monitor a Greek Cypriot oil-and-gas exploration mission off the island’s coast and within its Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Greek Cypriot side submitted a formal complaint against Turkey during a European Council meeting in late October over Ankara’s move, while Turky proceeded to send its seismic vessel Barbaros to conduct surveys in areas already being explored by oil and gas majors from the U.S., Israel, France, Italy and Korea.
Turkey is opposed to any unilateral Greek Cypriot move to explore hydrocarbon resources around the island insisting that the island’s natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.
The previous meeting of the Turkey-Greece High-level Cooperation Council was held in Istanbul on March 4, 2013. The council had its first meeting on May 14, 2010 in Athens.