Foreign Minister George Katrougalos will have a “marathon of meetings” involving stops in Brussels, Nicosia, Jerusalem and Antalya during the coming week, diplomatic sources said on Sunday.
The minister will be leaving for Brussels on Sunday to take part in Monday’s EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will discuss a number of issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Yemen and EU relations with Moldova following the recent parliamentary elections there on February 24. The ministers will also discuss EU relations with China in preparation for the discussion at the European Council on March 21-22 and the EU-China summit on April 9.
Over lunch, the foreign ministers will have a discussion with Wang Yi, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister.
On Monday morning, prior to the start of the FAC, Katrougalos and his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu, who currently chairs the FAC, will offer a working breakfast to the Friends of North Macedonia, to which North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov has been invited. Always in accordance with a strict implementation of the Prespes Agreement, the EU foreign ministers are to have a discussion with Dimitrov on developments in North Macedonia, its EU accession progress and the reforms that must be made in this direction.
Katrougalos will then travel to Nicosia on Tuesday, carrying out his first official visit to Cyprus as foreign minister. He is to meet Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II. Discussions at these meetings are expected to focus on the Cyprus problem and especially Ankara’s stance on the issue of guarantees and security, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in general.
The visit is taking place just days after a meeting between Katrougalos and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Brussels and two days before they are to meet again in Antalya. It also forms part of the broader effort for coordination between Athens and Nicosia ahead of the Greece-Cyprus-Israel trilateral summit in Jerusalem the next day, in which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be participating.
After visiting Cyprus, the foreign minister will travel to Jerusalem to accompany Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the trilateral and from there will he go to Antalya to meet Cavusoglu, as part of an agreement by the two sides to hold more frequent meetings in order to exchange views on matters of mutual interest and maintain effective channels of communication.