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After a Five-Year Hiatus, Turkey and Greece Restart Talks

MIN READJan 26, 2021 | 21:28 GMT

An aerial view of Agia Kyriaki village on June 1, 2020, in Pelion, Greece.

(Athanasios Gioumpasis / Getty Images)

The reopening of bilateral talks between Turkey and Greece could yield a brief thaw in their maritime disputes in the Mediterranean, which would prove politically beneficial for both countries and defuse the immediate threat of a military conflict. A long-term solution to Athens and Ankara’s many points of friction, however, remains unlikely. After a tense five-year hiatus, Greek and Turkish diplomats met in Istanbul on Jan. 25 in the hopes of finding common ground regarding maritime claims in the Mediterranean Sea. The negotiations marked the 61st round of exploratory talks between Ankara and Turkey since 2002. The fact that two longtime rivals participated in the talks at all bodes well for pragmatic conversations and military de-escalation in the near term -- especially over the immediate issue of Aegean Sea demarcation, where military tensions had been rising. But despite Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin ambitiously stating that it was “possible to...

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