Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias reaffirmed his commitment to non-confrontational relations with Turkey in response to New Democracy’s questioning of the strained bilateral relations.
Kotzias said Athens’ objective is to improve relations and keep open communication channels with Ankara and hopes Turkey will respect international law.
“Because if diplomacy falls quiet there will be no counter argument to the irresponsible voices on both sides, with all this means concerning the possibility of an ‘accident’.”
The Minister hailed diplomacy as the only means noting its success with respect to the decrease in Turkish violations and infringements in the period immediately after he visited Turkey.
Kotzias Greek-Turkish relations had been at a virtual standstill for about a year, with no meeting of the High-level Cooperation Council since 2016 and a cessation of exploratory talks between the military in the two countries, while the bilateral meeting on the level of foreign ministers was in summer of 2016.
“During my recent visit to Turkey, it was agreed that the HCC should meet, possibly in February 2018, and to resume contacts between the two foreign ministries on all levels,” Kotzias said. There was also agreement on a resumption of talks between the Greek and Turkish military to discuss confidence building measures, he added.
Kotzias offered assurances that the Greek government and Foreign Ministry would not overlook anything in the name of understanding and a peaceful settlement of differences with neighbouring countries but continue to unfailingly defend Greece’s rights and territorial integrity.