63rd round of consultative talks between Turkey and Greece held in Ankara

Turkey hosted the 63rd round of consultative talks with Greece in Ankara, where issues in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean were addressed, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

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According to a Twitter statement on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry hosted the 63rd round of consultative talks with Greece in Ankara.

The aim of the consultative talks, which began in March 2002, is to resolve bilateral disputes in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, and lay the groundwork for a fair, lasting, and comprehensive settlement to outstanding issues in the Aegean Sea.

The previous two rounds of talks were held in Athens and Istanbul on March 16 and January 25, respectively, thus marking the first direct talks between the two countries in nearly five years after Athens suspended them following the 60th round in March 2016.

Bilateral talks between Turkey and Greece continued in the form of political consultations but did not return to the exploratory framework.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara sent several drillships last year to explore for energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Talks based on international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations have been stated by Turkey to be the manner through which it favors to resolve the outstanding issue between the two neighboring countries.

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