Germany praises Greece, criticises Turkey

Heiko Maas and Nikos Dendias

Heiko Maas and Nikos Dendias

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas praised the action of the new Greek government on migration and its undertaking of reforming the economy whilst at the same time criticising Turkey for its provocative behaviour with the illegal drilling in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Maas made the comments during a joint press conference on Monday with Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias following their meeting.

On his part Dendias said that Turkey's "dangerous" manoeuvring in the eastern Mediterranean is a "blatant violation" of international law.

"Despite the very clear messages from the European Union, Turkey continues to grossly violate international law, the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, while escalating its rhetoric," Dendias added and stressed that via its actions, "Ankara does not help ease tensions."

Concerning Turkey's intention to open the enclosed city of Famagusta, the Greek foreign minister said such statements "rather aggravate the situation and do not facilitate the search for a solution to the Cyprus issue."

Maas reiterated EU's position in favour of Cyprus concerning (Turkey's) drilling in Cyprus' EEZ and advocated the resumption of the dialogue on the Cyprus issue, while noting that "unjustified events" render this more difficult.