Turkish, Greek diplomats to meet in Ankara amid Mediterranean row

Istanbul, April 15, (dpa/GNA) - The Turkish and Greek foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Ankara on Thursday amid an enduring dispute over natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias are expected to hold talks on bilateral ties and regional issues, according to Cavusoglu's office.

The two ministers initially planned to meet on Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed due to a NATO summit in Brussels.

NATO allies Turkey and Greece are at odds over maritime boundaries and natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Both claim the right to prospect and drill for energy resources in the same part of the sea.

The conflict brought the two neighbours to the brink of military confrontation last year.
The two countries resumed exploratory talks in January, after a five-year hiatus, to resolve the gas dispute.

Ankara had ceased exploration in the disputed area following a threat of sanctions from the EU.

In response, Brussels decided in March to start preparations for expanding a customs union and a refugee pact with Turkey.

To help maintain the positive agenda, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel travelled to Ankara last week for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.