The Greek overseas minister used his opening remarks to rattle off a sequence of longstanding complaints about Turkey.
The overseas ministers of Greece and Turkey have exchanged accusations on a variety of points throughout a risky press convention on the finish of their first assembly in over a yr.
The assembly between Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias was ostensibly designed to indicate the 2 uneasy NATO neighbours attempting to place apart their variations after a yr of complicated disputes.
The 2 nations teetered on the sting of all-out warfare when their gunboats collided whereas shadowing one another throughout a Turkish push into disputed japanese Mediterranean waters final August.
The press convention opened with conciliatory remarks from Cavusoglu by which he praised “the very optimistic dialogue” they only held within the Turkish capital.
Cavusoglu stated he believes the disputes with Greece may be resolved via constructive dialogue, and that faits accomplis and provocative rhetoric ought to be averted in relations between the 2 nations.
“It’s in our pursuits that minorities in each nations dwell in peace, it would have a optimistic influence on our relationships,” he stated.
However Dendias used his opening remarks to rattle off a sequence of longstanding complaints about Turkey – from its seek for pure gasoline in contested waters to its therapy of the Greek Orthodox minority and the perimeters’ ongoing dispute about migrants.
“Greece’s place is evident and this isn’t the primary time you’ve got heard it,” Dendias informed Cavusoglu throughout a very heated second within the 35-minute press convention.
“When you closely accuse my nation and other people earlier than the press, I’ve to be ready to answer that,” Cavusoglu replied.
“If you wish to proceed our tensions, we will,” he added.
Dendias additionally expressed help for Turkey’s bid to affix the European Union however stated any violations of Greece’s sovereignty could be sanctioned.
His feedback prompted an offended response from Cavusoglu who described them as “unacceptable”, prompting Dendias to say he was stunned Cavusoglu had anticipated him to behave as if nothing had occurred within the Aegean and japanese Mediterranean.
Tensions between neighbours
Dendias’s go to to Ankara is the primary from a high-profile Greek minister in additional than two years.
The continued risk of armed battle between the 2 NATO allies has alarmed the European Union.
Tensions had flared final yr as Turkish analysis ships explored for oil and gasoline reserves in waters claimed by Greece and its shut ally Cyprus.
Different points embody competing claims over their respective continental cabinets, maritime rights, air house within the Mediterranean, vitality, the Cyprus challenge and the standing of some islands within the Aegean Sea.
Turkey has additionally accused the Greek coastguard of placing lives at risk by forcing migrants attempting to achieve the Greek islands again into Turkish waters. In the meantime, Greece has claimed Turkey is facilitating such crossings in breach of a 2016 refugee deal between Ankara and the EU.