ATHENS – Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s continuing provocative tactics over the Aegean and East Mediterranean, such as sign
Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression
Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression
  • 2020-01-14 17:10:09 10 days ago
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ATHENS – Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s continuing provocative tactics over the Aegean and East Mediterranean, such as signing a deal with Libya dividing the waters, is only acting to isolate it internationally.

Speaking to reporters at a joint news conference with visiting Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides – Turkey is already drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters – Dendias said that, “We discussed Turkey’s illegal actions, which are not limited to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone,” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying he plans to send ships off Crete to also hunt for energy there.

“Turkey must understand that this behavior is counterproductive and drives it into isolation,” he added, said Kathimerini, after the two talk about the Turkey-Libya deal and the collapsed Cyprus reunification talks.

Dendias said the Turkey-Libya deal won’t be accepted internationally, although Erdogan wants the United Nations to support him, as the Greek foreign chief said the agreement would further destabilize a divided Libya and the region and ramp up tension.

Dendias said he will be discussing the issue with the leaderships of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in future trips, he told the paper, while Christodoulides said that a possible ceasefire in Libya would help defuse tension that he said Turkey is ratcheting up.

Christodoulides called on the European Union, which has issued only soft sanctions against Turkey for drilling off Cyprus, to be more active in Libya so that, “We are not led into a state of affairs like the one in Syria, where the EU is essentially not playing an important role.”

Dendias and Christodoulides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Political Consultations and Technical Cooperation between the two foreign ministries.

The post Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression appeared first on The National Herald.

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Greek Foreign Minister Says Turkey Isolating Itself With Aggression

Crime without punishment

Crime without punishment

How would we react if pelting stones at passers-by from a balcony were to qualify as a misdemeanor assault?

If we were to agree that this is unacceptable, then we should also not tolerate the fact that police officers recently became the target of a similar attack and yet the perpetrators were able to walk free as if they posed no risk to the rest of society.

For it would suggest that it is OK to treat policemen as human targets.

The Greek authorities should look carefully into these incidents. And if there is a legal gap, they must make sure it is addressed.

Only Trump can influence Erdogan

Only Trump can influence Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ultimate strategic objective is a revision of international treaties which, in his opinion, unfairly keep Turkey in shackles. Turkey’s strongman has referred to the “Blue Homeland” and the “borders of the heart” which, evidently, no longer coincide with the country’s modern-day boundaries.

Erdogan won’t listen to anyone. He will occasionally insult state leaders – including major ones, like he recently did with French President Emmanuel Macron. The only foreign leader he will listen to is Donald Trump. This is not because the two have that many things in common or because of the American president’s special interest in Turkey. Rather, it’s because his actions are governed by the rule of force. And this point does not just concern the military dimension.

Erdogan is convinced that the US president can, in fact, destroy Turkey’s economy as he has threatened to do in the past. It became clear to him a year ago with the case of US pastor Andrew Brunson; and he acted accordingly. Brunson was released.

During his meeting with Trump at the Oval Office, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said what he had to say; he even interrupted Trump to highlight Greek objections and concerns. The inevitable question is, did Trump really pay heed to what Mitsotakis said? And if he did, what does he plan to do?

Greece is a strategic US ally (bilateral defense cooperation is getting stronger by the day). At the same time, it has built the appropriate alliances, working with the two countries that make the pillars of US policy in the Eastern Mediterranean, namely (and primarily) Israel and Egypt, which carries a particular symbolism and influence in the Arab world.

The US follows developments in Greece’s wider region and expresses its concern and its willingness to assist in lowering the tension. It is the only power that can influence the Greek-Turkish equation and drive results, provided of course that its intervention is in the right direction. But in order to be effectual, any engagement must come from the president.

It’s far from certain that even US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or Vice President Mike Pence can exert meaningful influence over Erdogan. Only Trump, the head of the most powerful military machine and leader of the world’s biggest economy that no one can afford to ignore, can do it. That is, if he chooses to step in himself.

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