PM says dialogue with Turkey cannot be held under threat

PM says dialogue with Turkey cannot be held under threat

Greece supports dialogue with Turkey to resolve bilateral issues but discussions cannot be held under threat, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the national delegations of the European People's Party at a video conference on Tuesday.

“I presented to the EPP Group evidence of the provocative actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece is an advocate for dialogue, since we have absolute faith in our positions. However, real dialogue cannot be pursued under threat or violations of our sovereign rights,” he said in a tweet after the virtual meeting.

According to government sources, Manfred Weber, head of the EPP Parliamentary Group in the European Parliament, shares Mitsotakis’ view that Europe will neither stand weak nor divided in the face of Turkish provocations.

“Very good to talk to Kyriakos Mitsotakis on critical developments in the EastMed today,” Weber tweeted. “The EPP Group fully supports the work of the Greek government to protect Europe’s external border and to stand up against Turkish military aggression at sea. We will not be blackmailed."

The EPP Group wrote: "Our reaction must be given on two levels: EUCO to define the conditions under which we could trigger new economic sanctions. If the provocations continue, Erdogan must be hit where it hurts most – in his wallet."

"It is time to fundamentally rethink our ties with Turkey. We must end the membership process and rethink a new relationship based on the idea of partnership, in which we are not held hostage," added the EPP Group, and continued: "It is unacceptable for Europe to give in every time Erdogan threatens to open Turkey’s borders and break our migration agreements. We have to change the game. We will not be blackmailed!"

The discussion also revolved around tackling the pandemic.