Athens commits to dialogue with Ankara: the Greek president


Greece is committed to dialogue with Turkey, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Wednesday, commenting on ties with the country’s Mediterranean neighbor.

Citing Sakellaropoulou’s interview with public broadcaster ERT, the daily Kathimerini said the Greek leader stressed the importance of good neighborly relations between Athens and Ankara.

Affirming that there have been times when Turkish-Greek relations were calm, she said: “We are neighbours, and we will remain neighbours.”

She added, however, that relations also saw turbulent times and held Turkey responsible for the escalation along the Greek-Turkish border and in the Aegean Sea.

On the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, she said: “Ukrainians are fighting for all of us, for freedom and the values ​​of Europe.”

Turkey has a number of issues with Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration regarding maritime limits and rights in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as airspace limits.

While seeking to defend its fair share of maritime territory in the region, Ankara has denounced recent Greek moves such as the violation of treaties and pacts by issuing provocative shipping alerts, the militarization of the Aegean islands and the illegal encroachment on the continental shelf of Turkey.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that such excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara, however, has repeatedly stressed that it is in favor of resolving all outstanding issues in the region – including maritime disputes – through international law, good neighborly relations and dialogue.

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