Greek defense minister to visit Türkiye’s earthquake zone as tensions ease

Greek defense minister to visit Türkiye’s earthquake zone as tensions ease
# 31 March 2023 17:14 (UTC +04:00)

Greece’s defense minister has announced that he will travel to neighboring Türkiye next week to visit the country’s earthquake zone as tensions between the two countries have eased following major earthquakes that struck Türkiye in February, APA reports citing Turkish Minute.

Nikos Panagiotopoulos told that he would visit areas devastated by the earthquakes in early February with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

An outpouring of support from Greece to help its neighbor last month has led to a de-escalation in disputes centered around boundaries and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

“My counterpart suggested that I visit the earthquake-affected areas … The aim is to send a symbolic message,” Panagiotopoulos said in an interview with Greek private television station Mega.

“A de-escalation of tension in the bilateral relations between Greece and Türkiye is now evident. It is our country’s wish for this de-escalation to acquire permanent characteristics.”

In the wake of the earthquakes, Greece and Türkiye have resumed high-level meetings, including talks attended by senior diplomats on the so-called positive agenda initiative, aimed at boosting trade and other cooperation in areas unrelated to the disputes.

Two powerful earthquakes on Feb. 6 in southern Türkiye killed more than 50,000 people in the country and neighboring Syria.

Panagiotopoulos will visit Türkiye on April 4 and travel to the southern Hatay province, one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquakes, Turkish officials said.

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