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Greece: Turkey the ‘common denominator’ of region’s troubles

Published: Updated:

Greece’s foreign minister Friday called neighbor Turkey “the common denominator” of threats to stability in the region, including the use of migrants as a lever to apply geopolitical pressure.

Nikos Dendias accused Belarus of copying tactics used by Ankara last year when a tense stand off at the Greek-Turkish land border was triggered by the arrival of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers.

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“Unfortunately, the common denominator of many of the challenges that we face in this region ... is our neighbor Turkey,” Dendias said at a meeting in Athens with the foreign ministers of France, Egypt and Cyprus, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Sameh Shoukry and Nikos Christodoulides.

Greece and Turkey resumed high-level diplomatic talks in January for first time in nearly five years to try and ease tension over long standing boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean. But they remain sharply at odds and Greece has launched a multi-billion military modernization program with large navy and air force orders from France and the United States.

Turkey maintains that it has been unfairly excluded from access to Mediterranean mineral resources and denies that it helped migrants mass at the Greek border last year.

Egypt and France largely sided with Greece in the disputes.

Read more: Analysis: US eyes post-Erdogan Turkey as tensions simmer