ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said he hopes whichever governments are in place in Greece and Turkey after elections will continue a rapprochement instead of seeking tensions return.
He said there’s an opportunity that should be seized to cooperate and even collaborate on projects instead of battling with words over the sovereignty of the seas and other hotspot issues, Turkish media reported.
Dendias said that resolving the Greek-Turkish disagreement on maritime zones in accordance with international law is a critical point for Greek foreign policy although Turkey doesn’t accept those laws.
“Honestly, I believe that it would be a dream to erase Greek-Turkish differences from the map and have the two countries collaborate,” Dendias added, and work together on energy projects in the Aegean and East Mediterranean.
A deadly earthquake in Turkey that saw Greece send recovery teams and Turkish condolences over a train crash in Greece that killed 57 eased tensions after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened an invasion.
He also had demanded that Greece take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast and warned it would be a cause for war if Greece doubled its maritime boundaries to 12 miles.
He backed off both in the run-up to Turkey’s May 14 elections that saw him garner, 49.2 percent of the vote, just shy of winning outright but an expected favorite in the May 28 run-off.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has largely ignored belligerent talk from Turkey, is facing a challenge in May 21 elections expected to be inconclusive and a second round needed July 2.
There would then be an interim caretaker administration in Greece to deal with Erdogan or his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu, supported by a six-party coalition but who finished 4.7 points behind.
In March, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Dendias met in Brussels and agreed that Turkey would support Greece’s campaign for the Security Council in 2025-2026.
In return, Greece – which supports a Turkish bid to join the European Union that has faltered since its 200t start – said it would back Turkey’s candidacy for Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation.