The meeting of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with the Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglou and Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyannis, a meeting that will mark the mood of a possible four-day meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the coming days at the UN headquarters.
The Mayor of Istanbul is paying a two-day visit to Athens in return for the visit of the Mayor of Athens last May, when the two mayors had signed, in a warm atmosphere, a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the fields of culture and tourism.
Mr. Imamoglou is at the City Hall of Athens where he is currently meeting with his counterpart Kostas Bakoyannis and noon will visit the Prime Minister together at the Maximos Palace.
The talks between the two mayors will be followed by joint statements to the press.
According to the program at 13:00, the two mayors will visit the Maximos Palace, where they will be received in a half-hour meeting by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. In the afternoon, the mayor of Athens will accompany Mr. Imamoglou on a tour of the Archaeological site of the Acropolis, while at 21:00 they will visit the Herodion to watch the play Monica Bellucci, Maria Callas: Letters and Memories.
As part of the tour of the mayor of Istanbul in Athens, tomorrow Wednesday at 11:30 a visit will be made to the Ancient Agora, while then Mr. Imamoglou will visit -accompanied by the mayor of Athens- the area of Syntagma Square and the Zappeion, to see the urban regeneration projects that are taking place in the area. At 16:30 there will be a visit to the exhibition "Portals" of the Organization for Culture and Development NEON at the former Public Tobacco Factory in Lenorman, while Mr. Imamoglou will leave on Wednesday night for Istanbul.
The Prime Minister is going to New York tomorrow, while a series of important meetings started yesterday at the UN headquarters. Nick Dendias, who on the sidelines of the Convention has already briefed EU foreign ministers on the latest incidents of Turkish delinquency in the Aegean, focusing on the harassment of a research vessel east of Crete.
He left open the possibility of a meeting between Kyriakos Mitsotakis and him Recep Tagip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the General Assembly the government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou. "If such a request is made, it will be considered diplomatically and I think it will be answered positively" he stressed.
Mr. Imamoglou came to Athens at the invitation of the mayor of Athens, with whom he had met last March in Istanbul. The foundations for a cooperation relationship between the two cities were laid there, while they also signed a relevant memorandum.
Now, with this meeting, Athens is practicing city diplomacy, helping the foreign policy of the Mitsotakis government.
Of course, a key element in the whole affair is the political message that Greece sends to Turkey as Mr. Imamoglou is considered to be the most worthy political opponent of Tayyip Erdogan. It should be noted that the current Turkish president started his political career as mayor of Istanbul.