Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, in an interview with Skai television on Monday, said that Greece “should be optimistic but also careful and not naive” as regards Greek-Turkish relations.
“It is wrong for Greece not to reach out a hand corresponding to that which Türkiye is extending, it would be a crime to ignore it,” Dendias said, underlining that the “chances of success are few but it is our national duty to attempt it”.
” Türkiye’s long-term interests converge with those of Greece and if the leadership reaches the same conclusion, this would be something positive,” he pointed out.
Dendias said that there was an unofficial consensus between the two sides that could, after the elections, lead to an effort for resuming a serious dialogue in order to “find a solution to our [sole] difference”.
He also referred to his personal relations with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, whom he has known for 17 years. “I was and always will feel comfortable calling him on his mobile phone,” he said, while noting that a huge difficulty arose when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forbid all contact after the speech given by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the US Congress.
“He ended the feeling I had that, with a simple phone call, we could deal with chance events,” Dendias added.
Speaking of Cyprus, the minister underlined that it would be desirable to avoid an unfortunate incident from the Turkish side that would annul the excellent climate that has been created in Greek-Turkish relations. “Cyprus is close and if something happens to Cyprus it will obviously poison Greek-Turkish relations as well,” he said.
Asked about the imminent elections in Türkiye, he said that “Greece, as does Türkiye I imagine, always discusses with the legal government of the country. Greece will be ready to discuss with the Turkish side with any government chosen by the Turkish people. We believe that we will win the elections, that we will have a government with the same prime minister and that the goal of whoever he chooses as foreign minister will be to talk with the Turkish side.”