Merkel personally interested in avoiding Greek-Τurkish confrontation, says envoy


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is personally interested in de-escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean and avoiding a possible military confrontation, German Ambassador to Greece, Dr Ernst Reichel said on Thursday.

Reichel was speaking at the Greek Parliament's Special Standing Committee on European Affairs, where he presented the priorities and issues that will be the focus of his country’s six-month presidency of the European Union.

“Germany, during its presidency, may address Turkey at the next European Council with the threat of sanctions and, in general, with the deterioration of its relationship with the EU,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

According to the news agency report, the ambassador said Merkel and the Foreign Minister have “thoroughly analyzed" the issue of relations with Turkey, adding that there has been “some success,” with the withdrawal of the Turkish surveying vessel Oruc Reis.

The next step would be to restart exploratory talks between the two sides, he added.