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Athens Ready for Talks With Ankara After Withdrawal of Turkish Vessels, Greek Foreign Minister Says

Sputnik News

23:24 GMT 04.09.2020

ATHENS (Sputnik) – Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that the country was ready to launch reconciliation talks with Turkey after Turkish vessels leave what Athens calls its continental shelf.

On Friday, Dendias met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discussed with him the escalation of tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"I want to reiterate is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its announcements yesterday: that Greece is not negotiating with Turkey. Greece has clearly stated that there can be negotiations with Turkey as soon as the Turkish vessels withdraw from the Greek continental shelf. But not as long as the Turkish vessels remain there", Dendias told reporters on Friday, as quoted by the Greek Foreign Ministry.

On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that both Greece and Turkey had agreed to hold technical talks within the alliance to reduce the risk of further escalation. According to the Greek state-run news agency AMNA, diplomatic sources in Athens have refuted the secretary general's claims.

The Turkish-Greek tensions escalated in August after Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel began exploration drilling in the Greek-claimed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece considers this territory to be its exclusive economic zone, has mobilized its armed forces to high alert, and vowed to protect its sovereign rights by all necessary means.

© Sputnik

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