GR US

Greek Foreign Minister Dendias Will Meet Pompeo in Vienna

Αssociated Press

FILE- Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, right, talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, as they sing a defense agreement following their meeting in Athens, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS -- Amid uncertainty which way US President Donald Trump would tilt in a conflict between the countries, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will meet American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna to talk about Turkey.

The meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14, said Kathimerini, with Greece's Foreign Ministry  saying talks will focus on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in light of Turkey’s escalating violations.”

Dendias had said Greece would be willing to talk with Turkey about its provocations in the seas and claiming waters off Greek islands under a maritime deal with Libya, Greece countering by signing a similar agreement with Egypt.

That led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cancel planned discussions in Ankara and again order a Turkish energy research vessel and warships to head toward Greek seas off the island of Kastellorizo.

That has led to fears of a conflict with the European Union, United Nations and NATO – the defense alliance to which Greece and Turkey belong – staying far away from any potential fray.

The US has tweeted support for Greece and has a military cooperation deal with the country but Trump said he considers Erdogan a friend and a “hell of a leader” and some analysts said he would side with Turkey and leave Greece on its own.

Greece will ask for an emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council as the bloc ignored Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis' request for tough sanctions on Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Aug. 11 said seismic exploration and drilling licenses in new areas of the Mediterranean would start by the end of August and Turkey would continue its operations in the region and not relent.