Nicosia, Cyprus – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday it was important to keep communication channels open with Turkey, despite sharp rhetoric which has heightened tension between the two neighbors.

Recently, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Greece should stop arming islands in the Aegean Sea which should have a demilitarized status under international treaties. Greece dismisses Turkey’s factual demands as unfounded.

Mitsotakis, who was speaking in Cyprus, said international law was on Greece’s side.

“We will set aside any rhetoric which deviates from the rules of good diplomatic practice,” he said during a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.

“I believe that this approach is the correct one and that we will quickly come back to calmer waters, always keeping open channels of communication. It is my view and always has been that even at the most difficult of times they should never close,” Mitsotakis said.

The defense ministers of Turkey and Greece met on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels on Thursday and discussed maintaining dialogue to ease recently heightened tensions, Turkey’s defense ministry said.

Mitsotakis was in Cyprus for a conference of the island’s Democratic Rally party.