Davutoglu to visit Greece amid tensions over energy deposits
ATHENS - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will visit Greece for two days beginning Friday amid tensions over energy deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.
The two-day talks between Turkey and Greece are part of confidence-building measures launched in 2010 to improve relations between the Aegean neighbours.
So far, the talks have resulted in the signing of around 50 accords on immigration, disaster response, tourism, health, transport, agriculture, immigration, culture and sport.
A Greek foreign ministry source said Wednesday that several of these accords will be "re-evaluated" during Davutoglu's visit.
The visit has been clouded by Turkey's intervention in the energy exploration race in the eastern Mediterranean.
Ankara is determined to search for oil and gas in the same area where the internationally recognised Cyprus government has licensed exploratory drilling in its exclusive economic zone.
Last month, Nicosia said a Turkish survey vessel had encroached on Cyprus's exclusive economic zone off its south coast.
The Greek foreign ministry source said Turkey's actions were a "brutal violation" of sovereign rights.
Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of Cyprus in 1974 following an Athens-engineered coup aimed at uniting it with Greece. The peace talks are aimed at reunifying the island.
Ankara opposes the Cyprus government's exploitation of offshore energy reserves before agreement is reached on solving the decades-long division of the east Mediterranean island.
Davutoglu will be accompanied by at least seven ministers and a large business delegation.
The last round of Greek-Turkish talks had been held in Istanbul in March last year.
Greece and Turkey remain divided over territorial issues despite a rapprochement in 1999 that followed back-to-back earthquakes.
The soaring of undocumented migration via Turkey towards Greece over the past decade has further strained relations.