Turkish FM warns Greece on steps in Aegean
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (2nd R) visits Bet Israel Synagogue in İzmir. ‘Negotiation channels with Greece are present,’ FM says. AA photo
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has warned Greece not to take unilateral steps concerning the dispute over natural resources in the Aegean, saying such steps would prompt Turkey to take counter measures.
When reminded of news reports suggesting Athens had been planning to start digging in disputed areas of the Aegean Sea to search for natural resources, Davutoğlu said the issue was being followed very closely.
“Negotiation channels with Greece are present,” he said, adding that such issues were being discussed during meetings between himself and Greek counterpart, Dimitris Droutsas.
“Unilateral steps should be avoided during such critical periods, because currently there is a positive atmosphere between Turkey and Greece,” Davutoğlu said.
The minister also noted that the next meeting of the High-Level Strategic Partnership Council between the two countries would likely be held in March.
“While Turkey-Greece relations have gained momentum, it is important that we take all steps together and as part of these negotiations,” he said.
“I hope no need will be felt for this. There is already a mechanism functioning with Greece,” Davutoğlu said, in an apparent reference to exploratory talks between the two neighbors. More than 50 rounds of talks have been held since 2002 in order to find a way to solve the problems stemming from the absence of a border between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea.