The Greek prime minister, Kiriakos Mitsotakis, has rejected the path of “provocation” that he attributes to the Government of Turkey and has expressed his willingness to speak at any time with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and even to meet with him to try to deactivate two-sided tension.
“I think Turkey’s attitude is extremely problematic. They are making a big mistake because they are poisoning Turkish society and relations with Greece. We are not going to follow the Turkish president in his barrage of provocations,” Mitsotakis said this Sunday at a conference. of press.
The Greek president has defended giving “clear answers”. “No one believes that the Greek islands are a threat to Turkey,” he has argued in reference to Turkish complaints about the militarization of Aegean islands.
“I am always open to communication with Mr. Erdogan. I would like there to be a meeting,” explained Mitsotakis, who mentioned the European Political Community meeting in early October in Prague as a possibility for this meeting. The Heads of State and Government of 44 countries are invited to this event.
However, Mitsotakis himself has warned that inviting Turkey could imply Erdogan’s recognition of the Athens-related Republic of Cyprus. “It would be a good opportunity to show that his position is a dead end,” he said.
In addition, the Greek leader has criticized Turkey for being the only NATO country that has not imposed sanctions on Russia. “There is great concern (in Europe) about the attitude of a country that is officially a member of NATO, but at the same time maintains strategic relations with Russia,” he noted.
Mitsotakis thus criticized Turkey’s “neo-expansionist rhetoric” although he stressed that he is “the only one who would like to increase tension with Turkey.” “I cannot even imagine an armed conflict between Greece and Turkey, Turkey attacking the national sovereignty of Greece (…). He knows perfectly well the capacity of the Greek Armed Forces,” he warned.
On Saturday, Turkey denounced the “harassment shots” by the coastguard against a Turkish merchant ship in international waters of the Aegean Sea. This incident is part of an increase in tension between the two countries. Turkey accuses Greece of “occupying” some demilitarized Aegean islands and of attaching an anti-aircraft missile system to Turkish warplanes, which Athens denies.
Source: Europa Press