Turkish foreign minister receives Greek ambassador

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Ahead of a visit next week by his Greek counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on April 7 received the Greek ambassador to Ankara.

Çavuşoğlu and Michael-Christos Diamessis met at the Turkish Foreign Ministry in the capital Ankara, Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter.

Çavuşoğlu had previously said that after Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ visit to Ankara, set for next Wednesday, which would address all issues between the two countries, he would in turn pay a visit to Athens.

This year Turkey and Greece restarted consultative talks to resolve bilateral disputes in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

Talks in Istanbul on Jan. 25 marked the first direct talks between the two countries in nearly five years after Athens suspended the talks in 2016.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Last year Ankara sent out several drill ships to explore energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations.

Turkey decries ‘provocative’ remarks by Greek deputy FM 

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry on April 7 condemned the Greek deputy foreign minister’s remarks against Turkey and its president.

“We strongly condemn the immoral statements, which are not in line with political and diplomatic practices, of Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Miltiadis Varvitsiotis about our country and our president in an interview with a television channel,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said Greek officials continue to persistently engage in “provocative and tension-raising actions and rhetoric” toward Turkey.

Ankara considers these actions and rhetoric “intentional” in a period of new steps taken to sustain dialogue between the two countries, the ministry said.

Turkey urges the Greek political leadership to display “common sense” and sincerity “for dialogue channels between the two countries to function again,” according to the statement.

Hurriyet Daily News

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