Ankara blames Athens for suspension of 2016 exploratory talks

Ankara blames Athens for suspension of 2016 exploratory talks

Ankara has criticized Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias for saying in an interview Sunday that Turkey was responsible for the termination of the last round of exploratory talks in Athens in 2016.

In a statement Sunday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said that Dendias’ claims, published in Eleftheros Typos newspaper, were “unfounded.”

“Exploratory talks were suspended in 2016 upon the request of Greece. Claiming that the talks were suspended on the account of Turkey is an attempt to mislead public opinion,” Aksoy said.

Furthermore, the Turkish spokesman said that a fresh round of talks between the two sides will not be restricted to the issue of exclusive economic zone and continental shelf delimitation but will instead be “aimed at resolving all interrelated issues between the two countries.”

In the same statement, Aksoy rejected claims that Turkey was behind a recent decision to reopen a beach in uninhabited Varosha on Turkish-occupied Cyprus, adding that the decision came from the breakaway state.

Nevertheless, Aksoy added: “The Greek-Greek Cypriot duo’s claim that identifies this step as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and that people who enter the sea there threaten international security is ridiculous and far from being serious.”

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