Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the telephone on Friday, June 26, after months of heightened tensions between the countries.
According to the Greek premier’s office, the discussion revolved around the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including the repercussions that it has had on both countries as well as efforts that have been taken in order to combat the scourge.
The two leaders also spoke about their plans to reopen their borders and restore tourist flows after the end of the lockdown within both their nations.
The phone call marked a rare instance of top-level communication between the two leaders, who are at odds over a wide variety of issues. The last time both Prime Minister Mitsotakis and President Erdogan spoke was at a meeting back in December 25, 2019.
It is currently not known if either PM Mitsotakis or President Erdogan was the initiator of the call.
In a statement released recently, both leaders “agreed to maintain bilateral channels of communication open.” The two also acknowledged the growing tensions on both sides between Greece and Turkey.
With recent news of President Erdogan’s efforts to expedite plans for converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque, border issues relating to migration, and territorial issues in the Aegean Sea, the Turkish government has showed a decided tendency of provoking Greece.
According to officials in Athens, PM Mitsotakis and President Erdogan did not discuss anything related to these ongoing disputes, but they agreed that the opening up of communication between the two leaders was helpful and something that should continue in the future.