During the 4th round of contacts of the positive Greek-Turkish agenda that he had last week with his Turkish counterpart Burak Aksapar, Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis described the terrain he found in Ankara favorably in an interview with the “Kathimerini” newspaper.

What the deputy minister keeps from his visit to Ankara is the diplomatic culture and he expresses the hope that this spirit will continue to prevail in the relations between the two states.

Also, K. Fragogiannis emphasizes that he found with great satisfaction that progress has been achieved in almost all the topics of the positive agenda and he appreciates that the dynamic established during all these technical meetings, in addition to widening the channel of communication between the two sides in critical areas of mutual interest, at the same time it opened avenues for closer cooperation in more targeted actions, such as the cooperation of the business communities of the two countries in trade and investments in Greece, Turkey and also in third countries.

In particular, he notes that negotiations have been completed for the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between Enterprise Greece and the corresponding Turkish body (Türkiye Investment Office), as well as for the signing of a memorandum of understanding in the field of small and medium enterprises between the General Secretariat of Industry and the Turkish KOSGEB. Both of these memoranda, as the deputy minister announced, will be signed at the next high-level meeting. In addition, he pointed out that many economic committees (Tourism, Trade and Economic Cooperation, Information Technology and Communication, Transport) have completed their work.

At the same time, capturing the dynamics of the discussions, he points out that the issues that will concern the two countries at the next meeting in Athens (in the 5th round) also include new areas of interest, such as rural development, energy, environmental protection, social welfare and insurance . In addition, he estimates that “there is room for cooperation in the field of legal aid, as was seen with the recent release of the Greek prisoner, the father of the unfortunate train driver, which acted as a catalyst for the development of relations between the two relevant ministries”. Other issues of further development of bilateral relations, according to the deputy minister, concern citizen protection, sports, digital governance and the cooperation of various research centers (in the fields of biology, medicine and environmental research).

Besides, he considers it important that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed his intention to be informed about the progress of the talks. Something that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias has done in all phases of the talks, he adds. In this context, he expresses the common finding that the positive agenda is an effective tool for solving everyday problems in the relations of the two countries and observes that despite the recent critical period between the two countries, the positive agenda has not been cancelled.

Costas Fragogiannis makes special reference to the recent announcement by the Foreign Ministries of the two countries regarding their mutual support in the votes for the UN Security Council (Turkey will support Greece) and the International Maritime Organization (Greece will support Turkey), making reason for success of great importance, while expressing the appreciation that this means opening the way for closer cooperation also within the framework of international organizations.

Finally, when asked to what extent the goals of extroversion have been achieved during the almost four years that he has been Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for economic diplomacy, Costas Fragogiannis speaks of significant results in exports, the internationalization of Greek businesses and the increase in exports. As he notes, in terms of economic figures, these are impressive. Briefly, it mentions “the increase in exports by 62% compared to 2019, despite the difficult period of the pandemic and the lockdowns that disrupted international trade” and points out that “foreign direct investments are breaking all records, approaching 7 billion. in 2022, while for the period 2019-2022, the increase is 39.3%”.