Turkish President Erdogan Wants Hotline to Mitsotakis


Greek PM Mitsotakis, Turkish President Erdogan meet in Brussels. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Dimitris Papamitsos)

ATHENS -  After they hadn't spoken, a meeting between them at NATO has led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to say he would like a direct line of communication with Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“I met with Mr. Mitsotakis and I told him: ‘Just like today, let’s not put third parties, organizations and states between us. If we’re going to do something, let’s do it together. Your special envoy and my special envoy can meet and keep us informed,” he said, reported Kathimerini.

He added: “Then we can meet and do what needs to be done. This is the most important thing we agreed on,” added Erdogan.

Turkey had been alternating between keeping up provocations, including plans to hunt for energy off Greek islands, with pulling back the pressure on Greece and the European Union when talk of sanctions were raised.

Erdogan has used the tactic repeatedly and again has retreated from aggression, reportedly agreeing with Mitsotakis that the tension level should be ratcheted down to give diplomacy a chance again, said Greek government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni.

“Both agreed that the direct contact was positive and despite the diametrically opposed positions of the two countries on various issues, they agreed that the tensions of 2020 should not be repeated in 2021,” Peloni also told a press briefing, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA).