Turkey slams Greek top diplomat’s 'hostile' remarks
Ankara has slammed the Greek top diplomat’s “hostile” and “provocative” statements against Turkey at a four-way summit that included French, Egyptian and Greek Cypriot colleagues.
“We call on Greece – which on the one the one hand calls for dialogue but on the other makes hostile and provocative statements against Turkey - for common sense, honesty and, sincerity,” Tanju Bilgiç, the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, said in a written statement on a question about Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ remarks during a summit with his counterparts from France, Egypt and Greek Cyprus on Nov. 19.
Bilgiç described Greek efforts to try to create fake alliances against Turkey and favoring escalation instead of cooperation with Turkey as futile. The spokesman also slammed Greece for failing to absorb the key role Turkey is playing in the region for peace and stability.
Turkey’s reaction follows a four-way ministerial summit that took place in Athens on Nov. 19 with the focus on efforts to expand the cooperation between these countries in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greece and Greek Cyprus were in efforts to create separate three-way mechanisms with Israel, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in a bid to expand their anti-Turkey alliances. This time, the mechanism with Egypt has observed the participation of France, a NATO ally which has been pursuing growingly visible anti-Turkey attitudes recently. It signed a comprehensive security and defense agreement with Greece at the expense of driving a wedge within the NATO alliance.
At a press conference following Athens’ summit, Dendias hinted the real cause behind the four-way meeting.
“The challenges we face in the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean, Libya are the same. And the common denominator of most of them remains neighboring Turkey. Turkey continues to threaten Greece with war, it continues to violate our sovereignty and sovereign rights, it continues to illegally occupy territory of the Republic of Cyprus, it continues to violate its maritime zones, it continues to shelter the Muslim Brotherhood,” Dendias said.
“Turkey has provided the example of the instrumentalization of the migrant issue, which is presently finding imitators in Belarus. And, of course, Turkey maintains military forces and mercenaries in Libya and insists on the non-existent and illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum,” he also said, but adding, “However, I want to be clear. Today’s meeting is not a meeting against Turkey. We, all countries, seek good relations and a constructive dialogue with Turkey, but, of course, always in the framework of International Law and the International Law of the Sea.”