The announcement does not specify when exactly the exploratory talks will take place
Greece and Turkey have agreed to hold the 61st round of exploratory talks in Constantinople, according to a short announcement that was released on Tuesday afternoon. However, the announcement does not specify when exactly the exploratory talks will take place. In other words, it is not specified whether the meeting of the Greek diplomatic delegation, headed by Ambassador Pavlos Apostolidis will take place before or after the EU Summit, where the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the aggressive behavior of Turkey will be discussed. Moreover, the EU Summit will not be held on 24 and 25 September, but a week later, on October 1 and 2. The first round of exploratory talks after 2016, is the 61st round of a process, where senior diplomats from the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministries exchange views on the continental shelf demarcation and other incidental issues. As decided by Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Nikos Dendias, the head of the Greek delegation will be Ambassador Pavlos Apostolidis, a man who great experienceas he has also served as the director of the Greek National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Next to Mr. Apostolidis, who is considered to convey the institutional memory of Greek diplomacy in the Greek-Turkish negotiations, it has been decided to place Ambassador Alexandros Kougiou, head of the 5th General Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassadors Apostolidis and Kougiou will be offered valuable assistance by professors of International Law, depending on the subject matter and the Legal Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Greek negotiating team under Ambassador Pavlos Apostolidis will drive to Constantinople due to the restrictions imposed on air travel to Turkey after to the Covid-19 pandemic.