NEWS

'Cards on the table' in talks with Erdogan, Greek PM says

TAGS: Turkey, Diplomacy

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday confirmed plans for an informal meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London, saying the two leaders will talk with “cards on the table.”

In comments to members of his government ahead of Wednesday’s planned meeting, Mitsotakis said he will “put forth every question of Turkish provocation,” according to the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).

“We will talk with our cards on the table. It is in Turkey’s interest to go back on its provocative actions,” the Greek prime minister added.

“Turkey’s attempt to abolish the maritime borders of the islands – like Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos and Kastellorizo – with ruses such as void bilateral memorandums of understanding, will not produce internationally legal results,” Mitsotakis said on Tuesday. “It cannot challenge the sovereign rights of our islands, which are enshrines in international law and, particularly, by the Law of the Sea.”

Mitsotakis’ comments came after the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday issued a statement disputing the existence of the continental shelf of Kastellorizo in the southern Aegean.

The Greek prime minister said he will be discussing Turkey’s mounting aggression in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, and particularly the maritime borders agreement Ankara is said to have signed with the internationally recognized government of Libya last week, with Greece’s NATO allies.

“An alliance cannot be indifferent when one member openly violates international law and thus turns against another member,” Mitsotakis said.

The meeting between Mitsotakis and Erdogan has been scheduled for 2.30 p.m. London time, the ANA-MPA said.

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