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Politics

Ambassador Says SYRIZA’s Foreign Minister Begged for 2019 Meeting

ATHENS – Retired Greek Ambassador Georgios Aifants reportedly claimed that SYRIZA’s Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos “begged” for a meeting with Turkey’s foreign chief Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to discuss tensions between the countries.

That was in 2019 toward the tail end of SYRIZA’s 4 ½-year reign before being ousted by New Democracy in July snap elections that year, with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras now criticizing the government’s handling of Turkey.

Speaking to a Greek broadcaster, Aifants said it happened during the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2019, said Turkey’s pro-government The Daily Sabah newspaper.

Aifants said the policy at that time of trying to avoid a confrontation with Turkey during the summer, a traditional period for both sides to back off tensions to benefit tourism, didn’t work.

“When I was ambassador in Finland in 2019, I saw Katrougalos begging Çavuşoğlu for a meeting at the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers meeting,” he also said.

He stated that Katrougalos and Çavuşoğlu finally met and added: “When Katrougalos went out, he was relieved that there would be no problems until September,” but by that time, SYRIZA was out.

Aifants claimed that Katrougalos did to avoid tensions before the snap polls to benefit SYRIZA but the Leftists were easily routed after Tsipras reneged on virtually all his promises during his tenure.

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