On Friday, the leaders of Greece and Cyprus sought to reduce tensions with Turkey amid increasingly belligerent rhetoric from the Turkish President, insisting that the best way to counter such talk is through “calm and composed determination.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the approach the most appropriate in de-escalating tensions while keeping communication channels with Turkey open.
“The defense of Greece and Cyprus against whichever revisionist tendencies is international law, our strong alliances and our membership in the European family, and with calm determination and composure…will always counter whichever rhetoric exceeds proper diplomatic” boundaries,” Mitsotakis said during a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
“I surmise that this approach is in the end the correct one and that we will soon return to calmer waters, always keeping open channels of communication that in my view should never close…even under the most difficult circumstances,”said Mitsotakis.
Cyprus praises Greece for its handling of Turkey’s revisionism
For his part, Anastasiades praised Athens’ handling of the “revisionist stance” expressed by some—referring to Turkey.
“I want to express my complete satisfaction because the management by the Greek side as a whole of a rhetoric that is totally foreign to our culture is such that it weakens and frustrates the goals that some with revisionist views may have. The same practice and policy is adopted by us. International law is our defense and, of course, our strong alliances and our presence in the EU,” Anastasiades emphasized.
He further expressed his certainty that upcoming EU-NATO meetings will lead to messages of strong condemnation against actions which call into question the territorial integrity of Greece and Cyprus.
Greece and Turkey say they want to reduce tension
On Thursday, Greece and Turkey agreed to reduce tension and keep communication channels open during a meeting between the countries’ defense ministers.
Greek National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos held a brief meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministers summit held in Brussels.
Emphasized in this meeting was the importance of maintaining open communication channels in the spirit of good neighborly relations, a Greek ministry statement said, and focusing on a positive agenda that will contribute to building a better climate and regional cooperation.
The discussion in Brussels between Akar and Panagiotopoulos focused on the “importance of continuing the dialogue in order to reduce tensions,” according to a Turkish Ministry of Defense statement.