Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent multiple messages to Turkey during a press conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair.
He emphasised that any discussion of demilitarising Greece’s islands will receive a categorical Oxi (No) response. This comes amid constant Turkish demands that Greece demilitarises its eastern Aegean Islands.
Mitsotakis said the return of the Oruç Reis Turkish research vessel to Anatolia was a “positive step” and that “Greece is ready to start a new round of contacts with Turkey” if they continue to deescalate.
Insisting on dialogue as the “only way” to resolve the dispute with Turkey, “my current position is the best indication of the goodwill I have to discuss in good faith with Turkey,” said Mitsotakis.
“The Greek side has never been the one to add fuel to the fire,” Mitsotakis highlighted, adding that “our only difference with Turkey is the delimitation of the sea zones.”
The Prime Minister appeared, in fact, open to the possibility of his meeting with the Turkish President.
“Of course I can meet with the Turkish President and I am not against such a possibility. If there is a good mood and trust, it is better to talk and meet than not to talk and not to meet,” the prime minister said when asked if he was ready to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“There is and will always be a list of sanctions as an option from the European Union” warned Mitsotakis, while he pointed out that “what we have managed to achieve is to raise awareness in Europe as a whole about the strategic importance of the Mediterranean basin, and especially the Eastern Mediterranean. And this is something that we have achieved with the United States and it is something positive for Greek interests.”
Mitsotakis announced that he has informed the opposition about the diplomatic contacts with the neighboring country, exorcising any comments about secret diplomacy.
“I believe that the national front exists, despite the fact that some people are trying to undermine it for reasons of internal consumption. There is no significant difference in our strategy between the government of the official opposition and KINAL,” the Prime Minister stressed, recalling his personal experience from the councils of political leaders, “which was not the best”.
Returning to Turkey, Mitsotakis said that if its “de-escalation is sincere and lasting we will see the remaining issues.”