Ankara has again accused Greece and Cyprus for taking “steps that increase tensions”, threatening to intervene in any Nicosia action to drill in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry Tanju Bilgic spoke of an attempt to send research ships to the “Turkish continental shelf”.
According to the correspondent of “Kathimerini” and SKAI, Manolis Kostidis, Bilgic stated that Ankara is responding to the challenges both on the field and at the table (of negotiations) and will not allow the rights it claims to have to be violated. He also said that Ankara “will continue to give answers” if Cyprus starts drilling.
Despite the aggressive tone, Greek and Turkish officials continue to meet.
Earlier, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos had a brief meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministers’ Summit, at Akar’s request.
Panagiotopoulos stressed that it is useful to maintain open channels of communication between Greece and Turkey, but to take steps in this direction requires improving the climate. He underlined the importance of respect for sovereignty and sovereign rights and adherence to international law, which are the indisputable guarantee for the establishment of conditions of peace, security and stability in the region.
Also, Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantinos Fragogiannis had the opportunity to meet his counterpart Sedat Onal for 20 minutes on the sidelines of the Libya Stability Initiative, in Tripoli, Libya. The two agreed to meet again in Athens next month, according to Greek state news agency AMNA.