The joint Mitsotakis-Ertnoghannis press conference at the Maximos building has just ended, with the main news being the signing of the "Declaration of Friendship and Cooperation between Greece and Turkey", as well as the signing of agreements on "low-policy" issues, which were expected.
From the Prime Minister's remarks we keep the following:
-A "Declaration of Friendship and Cooperation between Greece and Turkey" was signed, something Venizelos and Inonou did in 1930, stressing that as neighbours we ought to have these relations.
-Issues of international interest were discussed, including the war in Ukraine, the war in Gaza and the security situation in the Caucasus.
-The tense relations between Greece and Turkey over the past years and the significant improvement in recent months were recalled.
-It was said that there are disagreements, which we are voicing and seeking to resolve without resorting to creating tensions and crises between the two countries.
-Areas where agreements were signed on issues of electricity-trade-education-tourism-agricultural development, development, cultures and other areas such as cooperation of port authorities on illegal immigration were mentioned.
-The possibility for Turkish citizens to visit 10 of our islands in the Aegean Sea for 7 days a year is also envisaged, noting that our islands are a bridge of peace and cooperation between Greece and Turkey, as well as minorities.
- It was agreed to give further impetus to political dialogue, positive agenda and expansion of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
Our disagreement was expressed on the Cyprus issue, for which Greece wishes to see a solution on the basis of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions (One State on the basis of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation).
-When the conditions are ripe, we can go to the delimitation of the continental shelf - EEZ in the Aegean Sea on the basis of International Law and the Law of the Sea.
-In spring the Prime Minister will visit Ankara.
The Turkish President then reported:
-The "Declaration of Friendship and Cooperation between Greece and Turkey" that was signed, stressing that it was agreed to keep the channels of communication open, to create positive momentum and to hold summit meetings at least once a year from now on.
-Expansion of trade between us to $10 billion from the current $5 billion.
-The creation of a second bridge from Ypsala to Kipon on the Evros River.
-Exchange of views on the Aegean and SE Mediterranean, where the Foreign Ministers will talk to each other in more detail, with reference to International Law.
-On the fight against terrorism, welcoming the closure of Lavrio.
-He made a direct reference to the Turkish minority, as he called it in Thrace, while on the Cyprus issue he said that this should be resolved on the basis of the reality that has been formed on the island (two states).
-He criticized the targeting of civilians with thousands of victims in Gaza, saying that there should be no silence on war crimes.
- Supports the creation of an independent sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Turkey as a guarantor power
-Represented the Aegean as a sea of peace and cooperation and that there is no problem that cannot be solved.
-He invited our Prime Minister to Turkey.
Mitsotakis seconded on the Muslim minority of Thrace - Erdogan's stance
The Prime Minister responded to the issue of the "Turkish minority", which Erdogan called a Muslim minority according to the Lausanne Treaty, assuring that they enjoy equal rights with other Greek citizens, with Erdogan not taking a second step, and the press conference ended with the two leaders and other attendees applauding.
What changed Erdogan's attitude towards Greece?
The Turkish President has avoided "hot-button issues" of claims against us that he has been laconic about in the past, taking his moves step by step with our country.
This was to be expected , since for the first time in the last 50 years Turkey is so isolated-alienated from the West on a diplomatic level, with voices from the US even talking about Turkey's expulsion from NATO and Germany, an important ally over time, turning its back on Eurofighter.
So Erdogan did the needful philanthropy, with his country's coffers empty and at an airline disadvantage to Greece due to RAFALE.
These were the reasons why today and for the next period of time Erdogan's wolf will be a lamb, until he feels he has recovered diplomatically and militarily, when he will come back with a vengeance.