In an exchange on Twitter, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias urged his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to cultivate an environment amenable to constructive dialogue between the two countries.
Cavusoglu had urged Dendias in a Sunday tweet to “stop asking for help from others” and to “settle our differences equitably.”
In his response on Monday, Dendias expressed hope that 2021 will be the year when Turkey “abandons its threats of war against Greece should we exercise our legitimate rights. After all, we live in the 21st century.”
He added that Turkey should “aspire to become more European, less Neo-Ottoman,” as this will “best serve the Turkish people.”
He also said the new year should see Turkey “abstain from provocations and illegal activities,” and ended his tweets writing: “There is one thing Mevlut you forgot to mention yet again: It’s International Law.”
“The only basis for a constructive dialogue about our difference, my dear friend. Happy 2021!” Dendias wrote.
Cavusoglu’s post was a reaction to comments by Dendias over the weekend in which he said that the European Council should have gone further in penalizing Turkey over its illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Meanwhile, with regard to the next round of exploratory contacts between the two countries which should take place in Istanbul, Athens believes this should ideally take place at the end of January.
However, Greece is not ruling out that the invitation will come before the new year, suggesting that the next round take place in early January. According to some sources, early January is also what is wanted by Berlin, which has taken it upon itself to mediate the two countries.
At the same time, however, Ankara is tightening its grip on Cyprus, with CNN Turk reporting that Ankara will set up a total of five naval observatories, three of which are in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus and two around the port of Mersin, on the coast of Turkey.