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Editorial

Dialogue from the Trump-Macron Talk

The die, then, has been cast. They are or will be heading for dialogue.

All the countries that have a say in the Eastern Mediterranean now agree on this point.

And they mainly agree in the clearest way, the United States and France, the most powerful military countries of NATO, allies of Greece and Turkey. But also Germany.

On Sunday night, the White House released the summary of the telephone conversation that Trump and Macron had. I quote the text, for historical reasons:

“The two leaders agreed that Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue, which is the only path to resolving their differences.”

To this must be added something important that Trump himself revealed in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

He said, "The heads of countries last week they called me up, 'could you call Erdogan? You're the only one he'll listen to. He doesn't listen to us. You're the only one.' I said, 'Is that because of the United States?' He says, 'no, that's because of you. That's because of your personality. You're the only one that he'll listen to,' I don't like saying this publicly, but it happens to be true. I get along with him and he listens."

Trump did not reveal the names of the leaders who asked him to speak with Erdogan. What we do know is that they are related to the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The question is, of course, what exactly does Erdogan "not listen to" from the other leaders? What do they ask him to do and he doesn’t do it?

It is not difficult to hypothesize.

Apparently, he was asked to withdraw the research and warships from the Greek continental shelf but he refused. He does not listen. Or he sets conditions in order to do it.

So in this situation, how can Greece react?

It can reject dialogue and allow the encroachment of Greek sovereignty to continue. At some point, on the 23rd of the month, Erdogan said, they will leave. For now. 

Logically, there is to negotiate with Turkey on. They are violating the sovereign rights of Greece. So, what should Greece discuss with them?

Greece may demand from Turkey to withdraw, within a timetable, e.g. 48 hours, its boats from the continental shelf with the clear warning that otherwise it will declare war.

To agree to dialogue with Turkey, as Greece’s allies ask.

And there, in the talks or in the Hague Tribunal, Greece will be called upon to prove her rights to the predatory, gangster disposition of Turkey.

However, if it was that easy she would have done it years ago. Yet, if anyone can do it, it is Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

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