Turkey not the same as in 2000 or 2016, Dendias tells Kathimerini

Turkey not the same as in 2000 or 2016, Dendias tells Kathimerini

Ahead of the imminent exploratory contacts with Ankara, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in an interview with Kathimerini that Athens will have a constructive disposition, but stressed he is worried that Turkey is neither the country of the early 2000s that harbored European ambitions nor that which engaged in these talks in 2016.

“Of course, no one can decide a new change of course on its behalf,” he said 

He stressed Greece’s commitment to making more diplomatic openings and strengthening its traditional relations.

To this end, he said is looking forward to meeting his new American counterpart, Antony Blinken, but also to the completion of the negotiations for a multi-year Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US. 

He said the agreement with Albania for an appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, regarding the delimitation of maritime zones, will be ready after the April 25 elections there. As for the expansion of territorial waters beyond the Ionian, Dendias said this will be done when deemed appropriate.

“We closed pending issues that had been open for decades. We have signed three very important agreements. Two concerning the maritime zones with Italy and Egypt. A third which concerns pioneering cooperation in foreign policy and defense with the United Arab Emirates,” he said, adding that Greece is seeking to deepen cooperation with France and other countries.

“This week I will visit Italy and Portugal. Following is a visit to Belgium. And a little later the Baltic countries,” he noted, adding that a new framework for cooperation with the UK also being developed, while channels are being opened in Asia and Africa.

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