Greece reiterates its optimism on relations with Turkiye – Middle East Monitor

Greece on Monday reiterated its optimism on relations with Turkiye, which has seen a major thaw in the last two months.

It would be wrong for Greece not to reach out to the hand extended by Turkiye, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in an interview he gave to major broadcaster SKAI TV.

“It would be a critical act for our national interests,” he said.

Referring to the existing disagreements between the two NATO allies, Dendias said: “The chances of succeeding are few, but it is a national obligation to attempt it.”

He further said that Athens did not abandon its long-time fixed positions in its foreign policy and added: “We must be optimistic, but also cautious and not naive.”

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Emphasising that he has been good friends with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Dendias remarked: “I had and always have the convenience of calling him on his cell phone.”He further said that after the elections which will be held in both countries in May, negotiations on pressing matters would be likely.

Greece was among the first countries to convey condolences and offer aid on February 6, when twin quakes struck 11 southern Turkish provinces.

Likewise, Turkiye was the first country to offer condolences and aid following a February 28 train accident in northern Greece that left at least 57 people dead.

After the accident, Turkiye allowed the transfer of a Greek prisoner to Greece to attend his son’s funeral.

On March 20, Cavusoglu and Dendias met in Brussels and agreed that Turkiye will support Greece’s campaign for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2025-2026 and Athens will support Ankara’s candidacy for secretary general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

READ: Nations rush to aid Turkiye, Syria as second earthquake brings death toll to over 2,300

More recently, last week, Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos visited Turkiye and met his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.

In a separate development, Dendias met Israeli Ambassador Noam Katz.

Bilateral relations, current regional developments as well as the holy sites in Jerusalem were discussed at the meeting, he said on Twitter.

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