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Historic NATO Summit in Vilnius: Athens’ expectations

REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The government sees the summit as an opportunity to restart the dialogue with Ankara.

A historic NATO summit is held in Vilnius, Lithuania, during which Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance is expected to be ratified.

Although the Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan started with “bargains”, even raising the issue of Turkey’s accession into the European Union, he eventually gave the long-awaited “green” light to the Swedish candidacy.

On Tuesday, on the sidelines of the summit, Erdogan will meet with the US president, Joe Biden. The meeting was announced by the White House, after NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Erdogan had agreed to forward Sweden’s accession protocol to the Turkish parliament.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ contacts

The government sees the summit as an opportunity to restart the dialogue with Ankara. The meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan has been set for Wednesday. On the same day, the Greek premier will have a series of contacts, including a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Mitsotakis is also expected to meet with French President, Emmanuel Macron.

These meetings, according to diplomatic sources, allow for a comprehensive exchange of views on issues of the European and bilateral agenda. The agenda of meetings will be completed with Dimitar Kovachevski, Prime Minister of North Macedonia.

Meeting with Edi Rama – Beleri’s arrest in focus

Mitsotakis will have a private meeting with Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama in their first contact after the serious crisis caused in Greek-Albanian relations following the arrest of newly-elected mayor of Himare, Fredi Beleri. The prime minister will also meet with his Montenegrin counterpart.

Topics on the agenda

In the first meeting, with the participation of Sweden, leaders are expected to discuss the long-term adjustment of the defense and deterrent arrangement, the revision of the Defense Investment Pledge, the accession perspective of Ukraine and the type of support that will be provided to it, as well as strengthening the defense industry and enhancing NATO’s resilience.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate in the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council. The Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, the Asia-Pacific partners, namely Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, will also participate, as well as Sweden as an invitee.