Skip to content

Greece highlights improved Türkiye relations amid North Macedonia tensions

Greece highlights improved Türkiye relations amid North Macedonia tensions President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pose after a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Türkiye, May 13, 2024.
By Newsroom
Jul 10, 2024 8:21 AM

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged Tuesday that relations between Greece and Türkiye have significantly improved since last year.

Speaking at a public debate with former US Ambassador Daniel Speckhard at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank, Mitsotakis remarked on the positive developments between the two NATO allies after three years of turbulent bilateral relations.

“Things have improved between Greece and Türkiye,” Mitsotakis stated, noting that while some fundamental Turkish positions regarding the Eastern Mediterranean remain unchanged, cooperation has been enhanced in several areas.

We are cooperating better in addressing irregular migration. We reached an agreement that allows Turkish citizens to travel to [some] Aegean islands through a visa facilitation scheme. These are among the positive steps.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Ongoing North Macedonia tensions

However, Mitsotakis also addressed ongoing tensions with North Macedonia, accusing the country’s new government of violating the 2018 Prespa Agreement.

“One of the fundamental, if not the most fundamental, aspects of this agreement had to do with the name North Macedonia being used erga omnes. And this is something that is very clear and non-negotiable for Greece. When I hear that the new government refers to the country as the Republic of Macedonia within the country, I have serious concerns,” he said.

“It is not constructive and does not help North Macedonia’s European path.”

On June 28, the Greek Foreign Ministry accused North Macedonia of irredentism, claiming its leadership is moving away from good neighborly relations following a social media post by President Gordana Siljanovska.

In the post, she mentioned meeting a delegation of ethnic Macedonians from “Aegean Macedonia,” referencing Greece’s northern region of Macedonia.

The Prespa Agreement, which saw the renaming of Macedonia to North Macedonia, was a significant milestone that paved the way for its membership in NATO.

Last Updated:  Jul 10, 2024 8:21 AM