Ankara urged to ease tension before FM visit
Indicative of the atmosphere of suspicion that still pervades Greek-Turkish relations, Athens on Wednesday urged Ankara to dial down the tension in order to enable the visit there scheduled for April 14 by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias for talks with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
And this was the context of the meeting on Wednesday between Dendias and Turkish Ambassador to Athens Burak Ozugergin.
Shortly after the meeting, diplomatic sources said that Dendias stressed to the Turkish diplomat that there was still a need for Ankara to refrain from provocative actions.
The same sources also referred to the announcements issued after the meeting of Turkey’s National Security Council as being not at all helpful for the consolidation of a constructive climate between the two countries.
In its announcements, the Security Council again described Greece’s Muslim minority in Thrace as Turkish, while decrying Greece’s policy toward Turkey.
Tellingly, during the meeting between the two men, an overflight by Turkish F-16 fighter jets was recorded over the islets of Makronisi and Anthropophagi in the eastern Aegean.
Overall a total of 34 airspace violations were recorded on Wednesday for the first time in a long time.
The main goal of Dendias’ “warning shots” to Ankara was to convey the message that the meeting with Cavusoglu is not a given.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, as Greece expedites procedures for the selection of new frigates for its navy, British Ambassador Kate Smith formally presented her country’s proposal for the construction of four Arrowhead 140 frigates by Babcock to Greek authorities.