PRAGUE: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Greece, and other countries that “annoyed” him, understood Ankara’s message when Turkish officials said “we may suddenly arrive one night” — a comment that Greek and some other Western officials have condemned as a threat to a neighbouring state.
Erdogan added there was nothing worth discussing with Greece at the moment and, at the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community, he accused Athens of basing its policies on “lies.”
“They are not where they are supposed to be,” Erdogan told a press conference in Prague. “Their entire policy is based on lies, they are not honest. We have nothing to discuss with Greece.”
He said Greece should take his warnings about Turkey’s response to any threats seriously, and also told the summit that he expects the EU “to call on Greece for dialogue on a bilateral basis instead of supporting illegal initiatives masquerading as unity or solidarity.”
In return, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said his country was open to dialogue with any neighboring country.
“Greece never provokes, and it always responds with confidence when provoked,” Mitsotakis said ahead of Friday’s meetings.
“It does not make sense to accuse Greece of raising the tension in the Aegean when Turkey even raises issues of the sovereignty of the islands.
“Greece is not closing the door to dialogue, we are sure that we have international law on our side,” he added.
Leaders from across Europe started meeting Thursday in Prague for the inaugural summit. The first gathering at the grand Prague Castle complex brought together a disparate grouping of 44 nations from the Caucasus in the southeast to Iceland in the northwest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was not invited, loomed over the meeting as discussions focused on the economic and security turmoil sparked by his invasion of Ukraine.
* With Reuters and AFP