Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis did not ask for a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, a minister said.
“The prime minister has not asked for a meeting and, as far as I am aware, the schedules of the two leaders do not correspond,” State Minister Giorgos Gerapetridis told the Greek Skai TV on Monday. Skai said a meeting may occur should Erdoğan make such a request, citing Greek officials.
Erdoğan said on Sunday that he would meet with Mitsotakis after the Greek leader requested to hold the talks.
Speaking to the Kathimerini newspaper, two government sources said no meeting was arranged.
Diplomatic relations between Greece and Turkey reached the lowest point in decades last year after Turkey sent a seismic survey ship, escorted by warships, into waters claimed by Greece to search for natural gas. Greece responded by deploying its navy. The standoff prompted the EU to temporarily impose sanctions against senior Turkish energy ministry officials.
The two governments have since held bilateral contacts to help resolve the dispute. Erdoğan and Mitsotakis spoke on the phone in August, agreeing to limit the flow of migrants from Afghanistan towards Europe. Earlier this month, Mitsotakis said Greek and Turkish interests align on migration but differences remained on defence issues.
Greece’s embassy in Ankara on Sunday issued a diplomatic note to Turkey protesting the harassment by Turkish warships of the Maltese-flagged Nautical Geo research ship of French interests over the past few days and the country’s issuing of an illegal Navtex.
The vessel in question has been conducting research in an area east of the island of Crete as part of an effort to map the possible course of the EastMed pipeline, a proposed 1900-kilometre natural gas project connecting the gas reserves of the eastern Mediterranean to Greece.
Turkey has been excluded from planning for the pipeline headed by a group of countries that also includes Egypt, Israel and Cyprus. The countries signed an accord for the project in January 2020.