Dendias-Cavusoglu Meeting Postponed to Thursday

Αssociated Press

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS --Greek FM Nikos Dendias will delay a planned visit to Turkey by one day to Thursday because of a scheduling conflict with a meeting of NATO ministers, the Foreign Ministry in Athens said on Tuesday.

With Turkey alternating between talking tough and offering diplomacy over its claims to waters around Greek islands where it wants to hunt for energy, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will head to Ankara for yet more talks.

That comes after two rounds of exploratory non-binding chit-chats that didn’t resolve anything, resumed after a four-year hold and with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan getting the European Union to back off any talk of sanctions.

After that, he humiliated a visiting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen but not having a chair available for an audience with him, offering it instead to European Council President Charles Michel who said he regretted taking it.

With Turkey apparently in the driver’s seat after the EU officials went to Turkey to meet Erdogan instead of requiring him to come to Brussels for talks, giving him the upper hand, Dendias will meet Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Dendias’ visit, said Kathimerini, will hopefully bring a turning point although there has been constant going back-and-forth between the countries that has done nothing to get Erdogan to back down belligerent talk as he’s become emboldened.

While Turkey has again said it wants diplomacy - even though Erdogan said he won’t halt the energy hunt for any reason, including sanctions - Cavusoglu is expected to keep pressing Turkey’s constant claims and demands.

The paper said those include Turkey’s claims in the Aegean and East Mediterranean and wanting Turkish Muslims in northern Greece near Turkey’s border to have greater rights in their society.

Dendias and Cavusoglu are also expected to talk about Turkey’s drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters in defiance of soft EU sanctions although talks about reunifying the island where Turkey occupied the northern third have failed for decades.