Greece says it has resumed high-level political contacts with neighboring Turkey to try and de-escalate a dispute over offshore energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Stelios Petsas, the Greek government spokesman, said Thursday that direct contacts had restarted after Turkey pulled back a warship-escorted survey vessel at the weekend from an area where Greece claims exclusive rights to potential undersea gas or oil deposits.
The discussions, Petsas said, were taking place between aides to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Allies of the two NATO members have warned that the standoff and rival military build-ups in the area — between Greek islands, Turkey’s southern coast, and Cyprus — had increased the risk of a military confrontation.
The European Union is due to consider a list of potential sanctions against Turkey next week. EU officials say the dispute can only be resolved through negotiations.
Petsas said that direct communication between Mitsotakis and Erdogan was possible ahead of the September 24-25 EU meetings.
Turks want peace on Turkey, Greece dispute despite politicians’ heated rhetoricAmid rising tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkish people in Istanbul told Al Arabiya English that they would prefer ... Features
Greece to acquire 18 French-made Rafale jets as Turkey tension risesGreece is set to acquire 18 French-made Rafale warplanes, four multi-purpose frigates, and four navy helicopters amid tension with Turkey in the ... World News
Turkey says EU statement biased, ‘detached from reality’; open to talks with GreeceTurkey slammed a statement by European Union Mediterranean states on Friday, saying the comments were biased and “detached from reality”, but added ... World News
UK backs German efforts to resolve east Mediterranean dispute between Greece, TurkeyUK Defense Minister Ben Wallace has thrown his support behind German efforts to mediate a dispute between Turkey and Greece over gas drilling rights ... World News
Greece, Turkey agree to talks to avoid accidental clashes in Eastern Med: NATONATO allies Greece and Turkey have agreed to talks to avoid accidental clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ... World News
Pompeo calls on Turkey, Greece to reduce tensions in eastern MediterraneanUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Wednesday for Turkey and Greece to reduce tensions over disputed maritime rights and gas resources in the ... World News