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Politics

No Talking? Greek, Turkish Defense Ministers Will Meet at NATO

He closed off all communication with Greece and said he would no longer talk to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is going to let his defense minister talk to Greece’s defense chief.

With Turkey stepping up provocations and even threatening military action unless Greece removes troops from Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast, tension has been rising to near-conflict levels again.

No reason was given, but Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, among the chief provocateurs against Greece, will briefly meet Greek Defense Minister

Nikos Panagiotopoulos on th sidelines of a NATO meeting, said Kathimerini.

It’s not a scheduled sit-down though but the paper indicated it’s apparently a backdoor diplomatic way of talking without talking and saying you’re not talking while you’re talking.

Even a bristling showdown between Akar and Greek Members of Parliament at NATO hasn’t keep the Turkish defense chief from not wanting to talk to Panagiotopoulos apparently even as Turkey keeps claiming Greek territories in the seas and air.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Christian Wagner, said that recent Turkish government statements against Greece “do not help the constructive dialogue and stability in the region.”

“The aggressive rhetoric, especially, as well as Turkish violations of Greek airspace, give cause for concern,” he said, after Chancellor Olf Scholz initially didn’t back Mitsotakis when Erdogan broke off communication.

Wagner danced around a question about Turkey’s demand for demilitarization of Greek islands, repeating Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who said that “Greece plays an important role when it comes to the security of the Mediterranean region,” to avoid their being pinned down.

“At a time when Europe’s security order is fundamentally challenged by President Putin, we must stand united as NATO allies and European partners. Problems must be solved through discussion and not through escalation of tensions,” she said.

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