“I believe that in recent weeks and months we managed, together, to bring the conflict between Turkey and Greece onto a diplomatic path…Therefore we were absolutely astonished by what we have seen from the Turkish side in the last few days,” said Maas, during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens.
“This completely undermines the spirit of what we have agreed, namely to try to de-escalate this conflict through diplomatic means in an atmosphere of reliability and trust,” said Maas.
“I think no one can be satisfied with the recent developments,” said Mitsotakis.
“Mr. Cavusoglu actually told minister Dendias less than a week ago that Turkey would actually invite Greece to start exploratory talks, instead of a date for exploratory talks we have the Oruc Reis sailing in within the Greek exclusive economic zone. So obviously we will not discuss under these conditions, with having a ship at sea and I expect the issue to be discussed again at the next European Council so that we take stock of the recent developments,” said Mitsotakis.
Maas arrived in Athens on Tuesday following a visit to Cyprus. He said he had deliberately left Ankara out of his itinerary.
On Monday, the Turkish ship Oruc Reis set sail to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for European Union sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore hydrocarbon exploration rights.