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Could Turkey-Greece talks yield positive results?

Turkey has agreed to resume long-stalled talks with Greece on complex territorial disputes, but its calculus appears focused on short-term gains in its relations with the United States and the European Union.
A picture taken at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, on June 20, 2019 shows the drilling ship 'Yavuz' scheduled to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, next to a warship. - Turkey is set to send a new ship on June 20 to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, in a move expected to escalate tensions after the EU called on Ankara to stop its "illegal drilling activities". The region near the divided island is believed have rich natural gas deposits, triggering a race between Turkey and the internationally reco

After months of bilateral tensions over maritime borders and gas exploration rights, Turkish and Greek diplomats are scheduled to resume on Jan. 25 talks in Istanbul on long-standing territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea. The meeting will break a nearly five-year hiatus in the talks, but the prospect of any meaningful de-escalation and confidence-building appears elusive.

The meeting will mark the 61st round in the so-called exploratory talks between the two troubled neighbors, initiated nearly two decades ago in a bid to define and resolve a tangle of clashing territorial claims in the Aegean. The two sides have reported little progress over the years, while the disputes — involving continental shelves, airspace boundaries, islets with disputed ownership and Greece’s militarization of islands close to Turkey’s shores — have grown even more complex since the last round in March 2016 amid a fresh row over gas drilling rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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