FM Dendias in Lisbon: Greece always willing to engage in constructive dialogue with Turkey

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Talks in Lisbon between Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias and his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva focused on the priorities of the Portuguese European Union Council Presidency, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the migration crisis, and the European Union enlargement process, Dendias said in his statement after their meeting on Wednesday.

The two ministers’ meeting was held two days after the Lisbon visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who met with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, noted Dendias.

The Greek minister said he was briefed extensively on the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency by Silva, and added Greece “fully supports the key issues that will be addressed in this context.”

On the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the minister pointed out that “despite the relative calm in the past few weeks, the situation remains very volatile.” He further reiterated that “Greece is always ready and willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with Turkey, but of course on the basis of International Law, and in order to discuss that single issue that needs to be addressed, the delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Additionally, he confirmed that “following an invitation by the Turkish side, it has been agreed that we are going to have the next round of the exploratory talks in Istanbul on the 25th of January.” He also cited the December 2020 European Council conclusions, which “called not just for a sustained de-escalation for the resumption of these exploratory talks, but also for a smooth continuation.” Greece, he said, “[looks] forward to a constructive attitude from Turkey and to the abstention from any provocation from their side.”

Finally, Dendias commended Silva on his country’s stance amid the migration crisis, and for accepting the relocation of refugees on its territory and contributing to the protection of the European Union’s external borders through Frontex, the EU’s borders agency.

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