The Greek minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, concluded his visit in Ankara, on Thursday, after meeting with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The two sides agreed to meet again in Geneva at the end of April “to work together to improve Turkey-Greece relations” as the Turkish Foreign minister said.
In Greece, the government and most media are very pleased with the outcome of the visit.
The name of Nikos Dendias (#ΔΕΝΔΙΑΣ) went viral on social media.
Athens is happy that Nikos Dendias, during the joint press conference, bluntly presented Greece’s positions that Turkey violates Greek sovereignty and international law.
Here are the main points the Greek Foreign Affairs minister made on:
– the Aegean sea: “Turkey has violated International Law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. And not just that, it has violated the very sovereign rights of Greece. Has made 400 overflights over Greek territory. Above Greek territory. There is no provision in international law that allows flying over Greek territory. I’m not talking about the sea.
– Turkey’s “casus belli”: “This attitude is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is not consistent with NATO allies, nor with good neighborly relations and the promotion of those relations.
– the Turkey -Libya Maritime Boundary Treaty: “Turkey continues to reject the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which not only reflects customary law but has also been ratified by the European Union and is therefore part of the European acquis. A typical example of non-compliance is the well-known ‘memorandum’ between Turkey and Libya, which has been condemned by the European Council for violating the sovereign rights of third countries and is not in line with the Law of the Sea.”
– the Muslim minority in Thrace: “The Treaty of Lausanne itself says it is a Muslim minority. We do not say it. And the Treaty of Lausanne, if I remember correctly, was also signed by Turkey. This is the Treaty. Turkey may like or not like it, but the Treaty stands and will stand”.
– the demilitarization of Greek islands in the Aegean: “Why is there an army on the islands? It exists because there is a threat. The army costs money. We do not want to waste money for no reason. Is there anyone claiming at the moment that there is no military threat and there is no amphibious force opposite the islands? If so, it would be good to know.”
– Cyprus: “The only solution, accepted by the whole international community, is the bizonal, bicommunal federation based on the relevant decisions of the United Nations”.
– Hagia Sophia and the decision to turn it to a mosque: “Reversing this decision would be beneficial to Turkey and its international image.”
Οι σημερινές δηλώσεις μετά τη συνάντησή μου με τον Υπουργό Εξωτερικών της Τουρκίας, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu: https://t.co/hXJ1BGhZDD
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) April 15, 2021
Despite all that, the Greek government believes there is room for “constructive dialogue”.
The Greek FA Ministry presented proposals on economic cooperation that concern common projects stuck for the past decades.
The two sides also talked about initiatives that will facilitate bilateral communication once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.