Greek PM calls on Ankara to stop provocations, start talks

Greek PM calls on Ankara to stop provocations, start talks

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held talks with on Friday with China’s foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi, in a meeting in Athens that centered mainly on recent Turkish transgressions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“From all the many over-the-top statements that Mr Erdogan has made, there is only one I retain, the one about dialogue, and I respond with these six clear words: stop the provocations, start the talks,” Mitsotakis told Jiechi, who is director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party under Party General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Mitsotakis also told Jiechi that Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who heads to New York on Friday, will be meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and delivering a letter outlining Turkey’s violations in the area.

Turkey, he told the Chinese official, is carrying out activities that violate “every rule of the United Nations Charter, with a rhetoric that distorts history and adulterates geography.” These actions, the Greek prime minister added, threaten security and endanger trade and energy routes across the entire Mediterranean.

“Turkey's illegal activities demand an international reaction,” Mitsotakis said.

China, responded Jiechi, “is committed to peaceful development and believes that every country in the world has a duty to follow this path.”

“Peace and stability in the region and the world are very important. China is closely monitoring developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and we believe that the different sides must resolve their differences through dialogue and avoid actions that can escalate the situation,” he added in comments centered mainly on the global response to the coronavirus and ongoing bilateral economic cooperation with Greece.

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