Greek and Turkish diplomats met in Athens today for the latest round of exploratory talks with the two sides coming to the table with diametrically opposed agendas.

Greece remains steadfast in its refusal to discuss Ankara’s long wish list of demands and insists that the delimitation of the two countries’ continental shelves and Exclusive Economic Zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The aim of the exploratory talks is to find sufficient common ground to commence full-fledged bilateral negotiations at the political level.

The talks were held just over a week before the 25-26 March EU summit, at which leaders will discuss whether to impose sanctions on Turkey, which were postponed at the last summit.

Brussels and Washington have been pressing hard for the two sides to resolve bilateral issues through talks after a series of Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean last summer.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will present a report on the state of political, economic and trade relations between the EU and Turkey, as well as relevant tools and options.

Greek analysts suggest that Ankara’s participation in exploratory talks aims primarily to demonstrate its dedication to resolving issues in order to avert possible EU sanctions.

The Greek side has underlined that it is taking part in the exploratory talks with confidence, good faith, a spirit of cooperation and a constructive attitude and has stressed that any agreement must be in line with international law of the sea.

Athens has continually stressed that the ongoing talks were and remain exploratory, informal and non-binding.

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