ATHENS – So much for diplomacy.
After both sides said they wouldn't agitate the other during the summer so as to protect their tourism hopes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greek and Turkish officials have resume taking shots at each other.
This time it's Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to further reopen the abandoned resort of Varosha on the occupied side of Cyprus was another provocation that the Turkish leader said he wouldn't undertake now.
During a meeting with Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Zeina Akar, Dendias said that, it is “now clear that Turkey is using every tool of destabilization,” reported Kathimerini.
“I do not need to remind anyone that Famagusta is a short distance from Lebanon,” he said, using the Turkish name for the resort area although Greece calls Istanbul by Constantinople.
He said that Greece is opposing these efforts by Turkey ”in accordance with international law and good neighborly relations,” although both sides they wouldn't poke each other now.
“Of great importance is the International Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, which both Greece and Lebanon have signed and ratified,” he added, which Turkey doesn't recognize unless invoking to its advantage.
Dendias used the occasion to say that Greece would continue to aid Lebanon as well as the Greek Orthodox Hospital of Saint George in Beirut.
“We will continue to support Lebanon within the European Union as well,” he assured, although the country has been accused of runaway corruption that was blamed on a massive port explosion in 2020.