Dendias: Greece does not claim any Turkish territory, Ankara should do the same

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias Turk

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Sunday in an interview with "To Vima tis Kyriakis" that Greece does not claim any Turkish territory and Ankara should reciprocate this too.

Dendias urged Turkey to realise that having a friendly and reliable neighbour belonging to the same alliance and which was also an EU member-state was in its own interests, while adding: "[Turkey] must also understand that we do not claim even one iota of its territory and that we expect the same in return."

The difference between the two countries can be resolved within the framework of international law and the international law of the sea, he said.

The minister observed that the escalation of rhetoric on the Turkish side had reached unprecedented levels and that vigilance, alertness, unity and cool headedness was needed, while Greece was arming itself against this escalating threat.

"As we approach the Turkish elections, the tension will not subside and the danger of an accident or even a deliberate provocative action increases," he added.

Dendias also referred to a weaponisation of migration by Turkey and efforts to tarnish Greece's reputation by constantly spreading fake news, which Greece was countering on the diplomatic front by briefing its friends and allies and reinforcing the network of relations it has formed.

"None of our contacts is random. [They are] part of a broader strategy," he clarified, noting that Greece's partners appear to understand and their public statements echo the need to implement international law, the European acquis and common sense, citing as examples the recent stances adopted by Germany and the United Kingdom.

He also pointed to the conclusions of the European Council of 2021, which referred to measures against Turkey in the case of a relapse, saying these still apply and that Turkey's behaviour is being closely monitored by both Greece and the European Commission.

With regard to Turkey's relations with Russia, meanwhile, he said it was self-evident that measures should be taken if Turkish companies continue to deal with Russian entities on which sanctions have been imposed and that Turkey could not serve as a "back door" for Russian exports and imports.

Dendias highlighted Greece's relationship with Egypt, noting that this was something more than just strategic but one of "vital importance" for Greece, as reflected by his 12 visits to Cairo during his time as foreign minister.

He said that Greece and Egypt fully agreed regarding the developments in Libya and had agreed to coordinate their efforts on all levels, with both emphasising the importance of agreeing the EEZ border between Greece and Egypt and making a joint commitment to protect this.

The foreign minister ended by announcing a planned visit to Kiyv in the near future, if conditions permit.

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