Greek FM Kotzias was in Izmir today, once the heart of Greek life in Asia Minor, to inaugurate the renovated historic building of the Greek General Consulate in the city.
Handshakes and selfies on the promenade were aplenty however the two men exchanged heavy handed jibes over the issue of 8 Turkish soldiers who defected to Greece during Turkey’s recent military coup.
While at the Consulate, Turkish F-16 aircraft flew over the city prompting the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to say ‘’they are not here for you’’. Kotzias responded that ‘‘those who make noise are the ones who do not want an agreement’’ between the two countries.
The Greek FM described the inauguration of the new building as a symbol for a new beginning. ‘’We are working with Mr. Cavusoglu to better our relations and we are also working on Turkey’s EU perspective, capable of resolving current problems based on international law,” he said.
''We have sometimes experienced stormy weather but at the end of the day common sense prevails as the two sides see cooperation and dialogue as fundamental to our ties,” said Cavusoglu.
The two men are meeting also to discuss the Cyprus issue. Talks have stalled following the Crans Montana summit and commentators anticipate a new process to begin following the September UN General Assembly meetings.
#Izmir: FM @NikosKotzias inaugurated the renovated historic building of the Consulate General of #Greece. #Turkey FM @MevlutCavusoglu attended event / Ο ΥΠΕΞ Ν. Κοτζιάς εγκαινίασε το ανακαινισμένο ιστορικό κτήριο του Γενικού Προξενείου Ελλάδας στη Σμύρνη. ΥΠΕΞ Τουρκίας παρευρέθη pic.twitter.com/eNKUorUQXt— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) 4 September 2018