Athens, Greece – The relations between Greece and Turkey are boiling up to ultra limits amidst critical tactical moves in the Mediterranean Sea and the Islands Sea.
Tensions escalated even further on Wednesday with a fresh bout of incendiary rhetoric from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who warned Greece that if it “wants to pay the price, let it come and face us.”
President Erdoğan had also earlier in the day warned Greece not to test his country’s patience or courage. “Turkey will take what is its right in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Islands Sea and in the Black Sea,” he said.
President Erdoğan’s inflammatory statements sparked a new round of diplomatic initiatives, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking on the phone with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.
Mitsotakis reportedly thanked Trump for his interest and for the communication that took place while the Republican National Convention is still in progress and raised the issue of Turkey’s destabilizing actions in the region “which endanger peace and stability in the wider region and test the cohesion of NATO.” He also stressed that “Greece is ready to contribute substantially to the de-escalation provided that Turkey immediately stops its provocative actions.”
Also on Wednesday, it emerged from an open mic exchange in Berlin between the high representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with the Turkish president again on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Greek Parliament ratified the maritime zone agreement between Greece and Italy, while a vote will be held Thursday on the partial maritime delimitation accord with Egypt.
Despite a general consensus in Parliament Wednesday over the Egypt accord, opposition SYRIZA was critical of the government’s strategy and said it will vote “present” in Thursday’s vote.