Athens, Dec 7: Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his Greek counterpart, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in Athens on Thursday, marking the first time a Turkish president has visited Greece since 1952.
Erdogan’s two-day trip to Greece has been billed as a landmark visit that could see the two countries boost relations despite several long-standing disagreements.
The Turkish leader came to Greece as prime minister in 2010, and several other Turkish officials have visited the country in recent years.
Greek officials expressed concern leading up to Erdogan’s visit after the Turkish president said he hoped for an “update” of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which mapped out the current borders between the two countries.
Among the issues expected to be discussed are economic relations, security and the flow of refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greek islands.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the visit as “a chance to take bold steps forward”.
Thanos Dokos, director of the Athens-based Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy think-tank, said he did not expect meaningful political progress between the two Mediterranean countries.
“There is a systematic dialogue between the two countries, which hasn’t solved any of the problems, but there are channels of communication and frequent contact,” Dokos said.
“I have low expectations, neither side is prepared to make serious discussion of the issues,” he added, referring to past disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean Islands.