Dendias: It is a criminal mistake not to approach Turkey – Cyprus is not far away
As he said, the chances of us succeeding are few, but it is a national obligation to try
It would be a criminal mistake for Greece not to extend a hand of friendship similar to the hand of friendship that Turkey is currently extending, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias pointed out to SKAI and the show Today. The chances of us succeeding are few, but it is a national obligation to attempt it, he observed.
"We must be optimistic, but also cautious and not naive" noted Nikos Dendias, underlining that Greece does not abandon its fixed positions in its foreign policy and that its main lines remain respect for international law and the international law of the sea .
Regarding the de-escalation in the Aegean, he commented that "Greece has an obligation towards this behavior to show that it understands it, and that it is also ready to come to an honest discussion".
"Everything will be seen after the elections in Turkey"
In particular, he said that at the present time it is possible, if not certain, that Turkey has seen geopolitical interests with a "clearer eye". But beyond that, everything will be seen after the elections in Turkey. Greece does not abandon its fixed positions in its foreign policy. We had set as a condition calm waters non-threats, our main lines are experts, international law and international law of the sea.
We have to be optimistic, but also cautious and not naive, the same applies to Turkey, and it is not naive obviously, nor is it devoid of its long-term interests.
There is, the minister said, an informal understanding between the two sides which, post-election, may lead to an attempt to restart a serious dialogue to find a solution to our difference. Before the earthquakes there was just trying to deal with extreme contingencies during the pre-election period. There was no climate for a serious dialogue, because we had set a goal to stop the Turkish provocation. It does not mean, clarified Mr. Dendias, that Turkey submitted to our condition, it showed on its own after the specific visit a complete change of paradigm. "Greece enters into a dialogue with the permanent principle of foreign policy: international law, international law of the sea. It would be a criminal mistake for Greece not to extend a hand of friendship similar to the hand of friendship that Turkey is currently extending. There are few chances that we will succeed, but it is our national obligation to attempt it and it would be criminal to ignore it, he said characteristically.
Regarding the appeal to The Hague, Nikos Dendias commented that it presupposes agreements and understandings.
"Everything changed after the earthquakes"
"Indeed, everything changed after the earthquakes," noted Nikos Dendias, clarifying that there was no external pressure for normalization. "I have not seen anything worse in my life in Antioch... After the tragic visit, it is a fact that everything has indeed changed, Turkey not only does not violate the Aegean, or does not overfly, it has no flight activity in the Aegean. "The decision comes from the Turkish top. Greece has an obligation towards this behavior to show that it understands it and that it is also ready and to come to an honest discussion," he said.
"Risk of accident"
Before the earthquakes, the Foreign Minister explained, there was an effort to create understandings for the pre-election period, as there was a risk of an accident in the pre-election period, which would enter the level of public dialogue and could lead to anything.
"I am friends with Cavusoglu"
Ahead of Egypt's foreign minister's visit tomorrow, he commented that "Sameh Shoukry is my friend, I have many friends." "Mr. Cavusoglu is also my friend. I have known him for 17 years. And in the difficult moments he would "pull" me, but at the end he would add "Dendias is my friend". I had and always have the convenience of calling him on his cell phone. I have called him. There was a huge difficulty when President Erdogan banned all contact after Kyriakos Mitsotakis' speech to Congress he recalled.
"Cyprus is not far away"
It would be a matter of hope that there would be no behavior from the Turkish side in Cyprus that would negate the excellent climate that has been created in Greek-Turkish, the minister noted. Cyprus is not far away, if something happens in Cyprus it is obvious that it will also poison Greek-Turkish relations. Greece, like Turkey I imagine, always talks with the legitimate government of the country. Greece will be ready to discuss with the Turkish side whichever government the Turkish society chooses, we believe we will win the elections, we will have a government with the same prime minister and whoever chooses the Foreign Minister will aim to discuss with the Turkish side.
He made it clear that a discussion on the energy wealth of the Eastern Mediterranean cannot take place in the absence of Cyprus.
"The case of Imbro is worthy of study"
Mr. Dendias also referred to his upcoming visit to Imbro, saying: "the Ecumenical Patriarch goes to Imbro every 10 years. I would like us to be together at the Epitaph." The Foreign Minister emphasized that the case of Imvrou, the Hellenism of Imvrou, is worthy of study, as it has doubled from 300 to almost 600 people, with almost 60 children in school. We must encourage the Patriarch in his work, he said. "We had full facilitation from the Turkish authorities for me to go. Turkey wanted to help, not to hinder my trip," he clarified.