Greek, German FMs discuss issue of Turkish provocations undermining the prospect of talks

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Turkey’s behavior shows “it says one thing and does another, claiming it wants dialogue but undermining it by its actions,” Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday evening, prior to a working dinner with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Athens.

These are happening shortly after the EU called on Ankara to respect international laws and cease illegal actions, he said. “Unfortunately, Turkey’s insistence on illegality obliges us to demand measures that impose international legality,” Dendias added, underlining that this concerns the peace and stability of the region.

Dendias also referred to Germany’s “significant efforts”, as president of the Council of the EU,  towards the de-escalation of tension in the area and a return to talks.

On his part, German Foreign Minister Maas said that the provocations through the sailing of the Turkish research ship “Oruc Reis” in the Greek continental shelf have made the Greek-Turkish exploratory talks a distant prospect, “and not feasible, at least in the near future.” Expressing Germany’s frustration with the provocations by Turkey, he emphasized that talks need to “take place in a climate of trust and credibility, none of which exist at this phase.”

As a mediator, Germany is very happy “that with the truly active participation of the Greek side we twice achieved statements by Turkey that aimed at the restart of talks between Turkey and Greece.” He called talks between the two countries “the only way”, and said that his visit the same day to Nicosia aimed, along with the Athens visit, to decide on the next steps. These issues will be the focus of the working dinner, as they will be at the next European Council as well, he said.

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