Ankara sends conflicting messages

Mitsotakis insists during Cyprus visit that channels of communication must remain open

Ankara sends conflicting messages

Ankara on Friday continued to send contradictory messages, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doubling down, saying there will be no more meetings with the Greek side.

“As far as Greece is concerned… I will not meet with them again, especially if there is no honest politician in front of me,” he told journalists.

A few weeks ago, Erdogan said Mitsotakis was not a man of his word and ruled out the possibility of meeting him again. 

“For me, Mitsotakis no longer exists,” he said.

However, at the same time, his defense minister, Hulusi Akar, insisted on Friday that the solution to the problems between the two countries must be sought “through diplomatic means.”

For his part, Mitsotakis, who visited Nicosia for talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday, said, “We will soon be able to return to calmer waters, always keeping open channels of communication.”

“Even in the most difficult times, my opinion was and is, they must never be closed,” Mitsotakis said, defending his government’s approach to Greek-Turkish relations.

He emphasized that among the reasons for his visit to Cyprus was to coordinate the moves of the two allies in the face of the major geopolitical challenges created by the war in Ukraine, and “the recent unrest in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Without naming Turkey, Mitsotakis noted that he agrees with Anastasiades’ statement that the defense of Greece and Cyprus “against any revisionist dispositions is international law.”

Anastasiades meanwhile commended Athens’ stance regarding the recent rhetorical outburst from Ankara. This stance, he said, “definitely weakens and neutralizes the goals that some with revisionist views and perceptions may have.”

“The same tactics and policies are followed by us. International law is our protection and of course our strong alliances and presence in the European Union,” Anastasiades stated.

The president of Cyprus also expressed confidence that the European Council next week and the EU-NATO meeting after that will send out a loud message against those “who challenge the sovereignty and territorial integrity either of Greece or Cyprus.”

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