Athens is urging Ankara to proceed with goodwill moves of substance and not resort to 11th-hour statements with the sole aim of pre-empting any adverse decisions against it during the European Council on December 10-11.
The conviction in Athens is that its European Union partners are aware of Ankara’s opportunist stance before the previous summit when again it had expressed the best of intentions only to change course after it secured that it had avoided sanctions over its behavior toward Greece and Cyprus.
According to Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Turkey has been given every opportunity so far, “but did not respond.” He noted that last-minute statements by Turkey will not deceive the EU. “The European Union is not naive,” he said.
“Greece of course has always remained faithful to the idea of honest dialogue,” he said, while insisting that Turkey must demonstrate that it observes international law as a permanent choice and not in an opportunistic way.
“In a similar spirit, the EU has delayed decisions on measures and sanctions, stating willingness to examine a positive agenda of actions and policies toward Turkey, but on the same condition: that Turkey’s illegal activities cease once and for all,” he said.
Ankara’s recent actions, however, “scupper any prospect of dialogue with our country and, unfortunately, leave no room for any positive agenda at the upcoming European Council,” said Dendias, after Turkey issued a new Navtex for its Oruc Reis seismic research vessel over the weekend, reserving a maritime area just beyond the 6-nautical mile line off the coast of Kastellorizo.
Athens is also concerned about the period leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US president on January 20, as Turkey may see it as a chance to expedite its expansionist agenda in the Eastern Mediterranean.