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05 March, 2024
 
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Erdogan's historic visit to Athens signals potential thaw in relations

Enhanced security measures in Athens as leaders seek to overcome decades of strained ties

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Athens, accompanied by a ministerial delegation, for crucial talks with Greek counterparts in a bid to enhance relations between the historically at-odds neighbors. Long-standing issues, including territorial disputes, energy resources, and the Cyprus question, have strained relations over the years. However, recent positive developments, such as mutual aid efforts after a devastating earthquake and the re-elections of Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have created an opportunity for both nations to chart a new course.

The leaders aim to reach joint declarations and agreements across various sectors, emphasizing a positive and mutually beneficial agenda. Despite goodwill expressions, progress on deeply rooted bilateral issues is expected to be limited. Turkey's pursuit of EU membership, spanning over two decades, and Greece's aspiration to showcase stability in a changing geopolitical landscape add further context to the talks. The visit is viewed as a significant opportunity for both countries to demonstrate their commitment to improving ties.

In a related context, the official visit prompts heightened security measures in Athens, with a deployment of 3,000 police officers along the route from Athens International Airport to the city center. Security protocols include the presence of snipers, aerial drones for surveillance, and full alert status for anti-terrorism and state security units. Traffic regulations, road closures, and a ban on public gatherings during the visit aim to ensure a secure environment.

[Information sourced from Reuters and Kathimerini Greece]

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Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  diplomacy

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