ATHENS — Greece will not discuss any issues that impinge on its sovereignty, while its only difference with Turkey concerns the delineation of their respective maritime zones, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis emphasised on Tuesday in an interview with Skai TV. Varvitsiotis was commenting on Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias' upcoming visit to Turkey.
Regarding Euro-Turkish relations, the minister said that Greece largely determined their pace, since a normalisation of the EU-Turkey relationship was directly linked to dialogue with Greece and to avoiding provocative actions that undermine stability and security in the region.
Asked about the reactions toward him from the Turkish foreign ministry, he replied that there are forces in Turkey that don't want a good climate or an improvement in bilateral relations.
He also spoke about relations with Libya following a recent visit there by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who had raised the issue of the Turkish-Libyan "memorandum". Varvitsiotis said the premier's trip had helped make it understood that Greece's interests must also be taken into account when drawing up maritime zones, and that, as an EU member-state, Greece was able to influence Europe's stance toward Libya as it struggles to reestablish itself diplomatically, politically and economically.
"The message was sent…and that is very important. I don't think this is the end of the story but the beginning," he said, in response to the Libyan prime minister's statements in Ankara.