The NATO allies have competing claims to wide swathes of potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the eastern Mediterranean, with tensions escalating earlier this month after Turkey began exploratory drilling in an area south of Antalya claimed by Greece.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias issued a warning to Turkey on Tuesday amid the ongoing escalation of tensions over the territorial dispute in the Mediterranean, stressing that Athens is prepared to “defend its sovereign rights,” and accusing Ankara of continuing “provocations” and “violations of international law” despite calls by neighbours to de-escalate.
Dendias added that Germany and the European Union are “standing in solidarity” with Greece.
Maas traveled to Athens on Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean with Dendias. He is expected to travel to Ankara later for separate talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
‘Little Spark Can Cause Catastrophe’
Also Tuesday, Greek Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis said Athens would not engage in any discussions with Turkey related to the drilling dispute or security issues as long as Ankara continues to pressure the region militarily. He demanded that Turkey abandon ‘all aggressive actions’ before dialogue can take place.
Turkey Ready for Talks ‘Without Preconditions’
Cavusoglu also warned the Greek side not to engage in an escalation of tensions, and warned that Turkey…