Greece open to talks with Turkey should the Turkish provocations end, Greek top diplomat says
Greece is open to talks with Turkey but first Ankara should stop “provocations,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said.
"It is up to Turkey to choose if it will come to such a dialogue or not, but the basic ingredient must be a de-escalation," Nikos Dendias said in an interview with Proto Thema newspaper on Sunday, the Voice of America (VOA) reported.
"The one responsible for a de-escalation is the one causing the escalation, which is Turkey," Dendias said.
The tensions between Turkey and Greece that have long been at odds over a string of issues, have build up lately over territorial claims and the status of the Aegean islands.
Last week, Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) accused Athens for not giving up “illegal practices” and increasing “provocative actions” against Ankara and said Turkey “will not refrain from using all kinds of legitimate methods and means” against Greek efforts.
In response, Athens said it will defend its legitimate interests and rights against Turkey, should the need arise.
Turkey has every right to defend its interests by any legal means, but has no right to violate international law and threaten Greece with war, it said.
In the interview, Dendias blamed Ankara for sharply increasing its overflights and violations of Greek airspace, adding that this behavior seems to be serving a "revisionist narrative," VOA said.
In response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks claiming that Greece is not Turkey’s equal politically, economically, or militarily, Dendias said such statements violate the basic rule of foreign relations.
"It is an insulting approach that ranks various countries as more or less equal," Dendias said.