NEWS

Mitsotakis, Erdogan meeting on the cards

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday that a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “makes sense and will take place,” adding that “I am not able to tell you when but it will not be too late.” 

In a wide-ranging interview on Alpha TV Thursday night, the Greek premier noted that as he has said in the past, such a meeting should not be news, although he appreciates the buzz around it at this stage, given the heightened tension throughout 2020.

Regarding the visit to Ankara last week by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his controversial public confrontation with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Mitsotakis said it was handled “impeccably.” 

He noted however that he could not reveal what he and Dendias discussed before and after the latter’s visit to Ankara and limited himself to saying that “I instructed the foreign minister to respond if he was provoked.”

Dendias pointed out Thursday that expressing Greece’s firm positions does not negate the effort for improved relations.

Speaking to Euronews, Dendias said Greece seeks common ground with Turkey but this needs “to be… based on international law and the Law of the Sea.”

He also added that his public confrontation last week with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is not something he wanted to happen.

Meanwhile, speaking earlier on the Arab News network, Dendias initially raised some eyebrows in Greece when he said, among other things, that Greece believes in renewable energy sources and that it is not going to start digging up the bottom of the Mediterranean to find gas and oil. This, he said, would be costly as it would take 10 to 20 years to find and exploit these resources. He stressed that “Greece does not plan to become a country of oil and gas production in the near future.” His statements were interpreted by some quarters as a departure from the main directions of Greek foreign policy in recent years, especially in the field of energy and maritime zones.

In response Greek Foreign Ministry officials intervened, stating that what Dendias said “does not concern the existing energy program of the country.” Moreover, the same officials added “the views of the minister of foreign affairs on green energy and sustainable development are known and have been repeatedly expressed.”