No meeting until Greek premier “pulls himself together,” Erdogan says
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his stance on a future meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that such a gathering would be impossible until the Greek premier “pulls himself together.”
"Let him pull himself together. As long as he doesn't pull himself together, it is not possible for us to meet," Erdogan told reporters on Friday, during a flight from a NATO summit in Madrid, Reuters said, citing Turkish media.
Neighboring Greece and Turkey are embroiled in disputes over a string of issues, including territory, airspace, the status of Aegean islands and hydrocarbon exploration rights in Eastern Mediterranean. The two NATO allies resumed talks last year, in an effort to resolve their differences, however, Erdogan last month announced that Ankara has halted the bilateral initiative, after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on the US Congress to reject to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Mitsotakis "no longer exists" for him, Erdogan said.
On Thursday, Mitsotakis said the channels of communication need to remain open between Athens and Ankara, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said.
"We need to meet each other and we need to discuss,” Mitsotakis also said last month over the issue, in an interview with Greek state broadcaster ERT.
“We need to be able to agree that we disagree but we need to agree on the framework for solving our differences," Mitsotakis said, Reuters reported earlier.