Greece's new PM calls for 'brave steps' to boost Turkey ties

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
Published 22.07.2019 00:02
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses lawmakers during a parliamentary session to present his government's policies in Athens, Saturday, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo)
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses lawmakers during a parliamentary session to present his government's policies in Athens, Saturday, July 20, 2019. (AP Photo)

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday offered to take "brave steps" to boost bilateral relations with Turkey.

"I call on [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan for a mutual approach in which we will take brave steps," Mitsotakis told the Parliament's General Assembly meeting.

He said he wanted to proceed in line with international law and refrain from "aggressive rhetoric."

"We are living together in this geography. Unnecessary tensions and arms race deprive both countries of valuable resources," he said.

On July 7, Greece's New Democracy party led by Mitsotakis scored a clear victory in snap general elections.

Turkish-Greek ties have been at odds especially due to recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to resources in the area.

Since spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — Fatih and most recently Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the rights of Turkey and the TRNC over the resources of the region.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships' crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

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