Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says tensions with Turkey have eased after earthquakes

Archive – The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis – -/EU Council/dpa

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday that tensions with Ankara have been reduced, driven by mutual solidarity following the earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and northwestern Syria more than a month ago.

»After a long period of unacceptable provocations and aggressive behavior, today we are experiencing a reduction of tension and a more positive behavior,» he told a press conference alongside Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulidi.

In this sense, he has affirmed that Athens will respond »always to everything that points to the reduction of tension» and towards the construction of a dialogue process. »I would like to think that such an improvement can also have a positive impact on the Cyprus problem,» he added.

Mitsotakis pointed out that the aftermath of the earthquakes, which have resulted in more than 47,900 deaths, have »brought the two peoples »humanly closer», so that »a more positive attitude» and a »de-escalation» of tensions can be perceived.

Thus, he reiterated that Greece is »firmly in favor of dialogue with Turkey on the basis of international law and good neighborly relations», a value also highlighted during the weekend by the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar.

Turkey and Greece, two NATO member countries, are trying to improve their complicated relations after they were on the brink of armed conflict in 2020 following Turkey’s prospecting in areas of the eastern Mediterranean, which Greece considers part of its exclusive economic zone.