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Mevlut Cavusoglu: Greece rejects dialogue, France its main instigator

September 5, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the press at Covid-19 Coordination and Support Center in Ankara, Turkey on May 5, 2020 [Cem Özdel / Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Greece does not support dialogue on the eastern Mediterranean situation and that France is its main instigator.

Speaking at a press conference held on Friday in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Cavusoglu stated: “Greece has demonstrated once again that it does not support dialogue after denying NATO’s mediation.”

He also emphasised that his Greek counterpart rejected the unconditional dialogue on the current tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

He continued: “France is the country that incites Greece the most.”

Cavusoglu explained that France has other goals, and raised the question: “What is France’s relationship with the eastern Mediterranean?”

Cavusoglu pointed to the statement of the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg, in which he disclosed that: “Turkey and Greece agreed to hold technical talks.”

Read: Greece pulls out of NATO-backed talks with Turkey

He added that when he was asked by Stoltenberg about his opinion of conducting these talks, he welcomed it and expressed his agreement, noting that Greece also agreed when asked the question.

He asserted that Stoltenberg held a press conference after obtaining the approval, but Greece denied this.

He insisted: “The liar here is Greece and not the secretary-general of NATO, and Greece has reiterated that it does not support dialogue.”

In a related context, Cavusoglu stated that a similar initiative was put forward by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, pointing out that Turkey also expressed its approval.

He continued: “We said we can meet in a neutral place, but without preconditions. Borrell mentioned that he would meet the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and we learned afterwards that Dendias declined the invitation.”

Cavusoglu indicated that comments he had received from western countries suggest that Greece’s position is unfair regarding the eastern Mediterranean.

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