Referring to the recent incendiary rhetoric and behavior of Ankara, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias pointed out on Tuesday that it only confirms the Greek argument about Turkey’s aggressive stance.
“Turkey’s behavior absolutely substantiates the Greek arguments, that we are threatened, that the casus belli against Greece is not empty of content, and that Greece is facing a threat from Turkey,” Dendias said in an interview on Skai Radio.
“We have our own position. We won’t be drawn into escalation,” Dendias said, adding that “if we do, it will be because the Greek government has decided to do so.”
He also described Turkey’s behavior as a clear statement about its intentions to enter into an honest dialogue.
“Dialogue with a regime of insults, has a difficulty, to put it elegantly,” he said, noting that Greece has stated that it wants to have communication.
But how can this be done, he asked, when there are constant Turkish overflights above the Aegean.
Regarding the possibility of dialogue, Dendias stressed that “we hoped that the exploratory [contacts] are not symbolic, and that they will have content, as is their purpose, and lead to a mutual understanding that will allow the real negotiations to begin.”
He said if these real negotiations yield no results, “then let’s go to The Hague, which I even visited last week, to the International Court of Justice, to resolve our differences over the continental shelf and the [exclusive economic zone].”
He stressed, however, that Greece cannot ignore the environment that Turkey is trying to create.
“I do not want to commit by saying something publicly at this juncture, but I think everyone understands what stage we are at,” he said.