Reports from Ankara suggest that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to visit Athens in the last days of May, reciprocating last month’s visit to Turkey by his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.
The exact date of the Turkish minister’s arrival has not been finalized and further negotiations are expected with the Greek government, after the Muslim Eid, which begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday.
In addition to the agenda of the talks, negotiations are also expected regarding Cavusoglou’s program and schedule.
Meanwhile the chief of Greece’s armed forces, Konstantinos Floros, said the country is ready for any challenge that might come its way, on its own if it has to.
Speaking on Wednesday at a Council on Foreign Relations event, Floros said that “if the time comes to fight for your survival, you will initially be alone.” He noted however that Greece received positive signals of support last summer from other countries, citing the arrival of F-16 jets from the United Arab Emirates at the Souda base on Crete, the exercise with a French helicopter carrier and the promotion of cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy).
He warned however that protracted tension with Turkish jets in Greek airspace carries serious risks.
“The possibility of an accident occurring is extremely high. Nobody knows where this will lead. We are trying not to be the ones that will lead to this accident. We are extremely trained. The pressure is intense,” he said. Precisely because of this tension, he added, it is crucial that incendiary rhetoric is avoided so that it doesn’t boil over, in a remark directed at Turkish officials.
Floros also referred to countries “that dream of an imperial past,” noting that, in addition to Syria and Libya, Turkey also has it sights on Greece, via its Blue Homeland doctrine and the Turkish-Libyan memorandum.