Greek President Wants More Diplomacy with Truculent Turkey

ATHENS – It hasn’t worked yet but Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said talking to Turkey about competing claims to the seas should continue despite non-stop belligerent talk from the other side.

She told state broadcaster ERT that despite the constant and often-rising tension and Turkey even talking about a cause for war if Greece doubles its maritime boundaries to 12 miles that, “We are neighbors and will remain neighbors.”

That approach has failed but she said that maybe it will work if Turkey realizes that, “Neighbors need each other,” and calling Greece “a pillar of stability in the southeastern Mediterranean and the broader region.”

While emphasizing that Greece is well-equipped to defend its national sovereignty against external threats, Sakellaropoulou affirmed that the country “wants dialogue” with Turkey.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar already put the kibosh to to that idea when he said that Turkey is “a million times right in the problems” it has with “Greece, which,” he said, “continues its provocative actions and provocative rhetoric.”

And while he said that Turkey too wants dialogue that it would be on its terms and its demands being met and that it won’t allow any violation of its rights while denying that Greece has any.

He’s also upset that Greece has been building an arsenal, including buying French fighter jets and warships and with a mutual defense pact with France, calling it a useless arms race.

If these programs are with Turkey in mind, he stressed, they are not enough, if they are for defense reasons, they are too many, he said, the paper reported about the growing recalcitrant attitude.


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