Greece and Turkey are making new efforts to bridge their differences and restore dialogue after high-ranking officials from both sides met in Brussels on Friday, Greek local media reported on Sunday.
The director of the Greek Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Anna-Maria Boura, met with Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman and chief foreign policy advisor, at the office of the German representation to the European Union, Proto Thema news stated.
German Jens Ploetner, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s top foreign policy advisor and former ambassador to Greece, was reportedly also present at the meeting which hadn’t been announced by either side to avoid the creation of expectations by the public.
There had been no official comment or confirmation of the Greece – Turkey talks by either country at the time of writing.
Greece responds to Turkey threats
The meeting comes days after the latest threats voiced by Turkish President Erdogan against Greece. Last Sunday, Erdogan warned that Turkish Tayfun missiles could hit Athens.
“If you don’t stay calm, if you try to buy something [to arm yourself] from here and there, from America to the islands, a country like Turkey will not be a bystander,” Erdogan added. “It has to do something,” he said during a speech in Samsun in northern Turkey.
And this wasn’t the first time that the Turkish President threatened Greece with a missile strike. In early November, he claimed that the newly-tested ballistic missile has “Athens within its range.”
Turkey has stepped up its rhetoric against Greece in recent months amid what Ankara sees as a growing military buildup on the Greek Aegean islands close to Turkey’s coastline. “We can come suddenly one night when the time comes,” were the words used by Erdogan.
Earlier in December, the Greek Foreign Ministry responded to what it called “repeated threats of war” by Turkey. “The statements made by Turkish officials on the demilitarization of the Aegean islands,” Greek officials said, “have been repeatedly rejected in their entirety on the basis of a series of arguments, which are also contained in the relevant letters that Greece has sent to the UN Secretary-General.”