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Greece Has Not Received An Invitation from Turkey to Resume Talks

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(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS -- "The Greek Foreign Ministry has not received so far an invitation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the date of the restart of the 61st round of the exploratory talks" the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou said answering at press question on Monday.

"Greece, as it is known, has expressed its will to respond, in case of an invitation from Turkey on the delimitation of the EEZ and the continental shelf according to the international law" he said.

Earlier on Monday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey calls Greece for the restart of the exploratory talks in January. It is reminded that the last round of the exploratory talks was held in Athens in 2016.

In his remarks, Cavusolgu spoke of “unconditional” talks on all issues that have been discussed over the 60 rounds of talks held until 2016, when contacts were suspended.

Cavusoglu said Athens had “no excuse” not to resume talks.

Meanwhile, European Commission's representative responsible for Foreign Affairs Peter Stano on Monday referred to the importance that will have for the entire EU the normalisation of the Greek-Turkish relations.

The normalisation or the discussions between Greece and Turkey these two countries' engagement is also very important for the overall relation between EU and Turkey, Stano said and underlined that a EU state member's harassment is considered as a harassment to the entire EU.

In parallel he noted that the restart of the deliberations is something the EU expects that will be positive for the the overall effort for the development of a positive path in our relations.

NATO members Greece and Turkey are at odds over sea boundaries and mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean. the dispute triggered a tense standoff last year when a Turkish research vessel was used to survey waters where Greece claims jurisdiction.

Turkey says an extension of Greece’s territorial waters eastward would be considered an act of war, arguing that Greek islands would effectively block its access to the Aegean.

Talks between the two countries to try to resolve the dispute broke down four years ago. Under pressure from western allies, the two sides say they are willing to restart that dialogue.