Greece’s foreign policy is based on the principles of international law and the Law of the Sea, with most countries in the Eastern Mediterranean sharing these principles and understanding the need to follow them, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias noted while speaking at the Economist Conference in Attica on Friday.
“Unfortunately, there is a minority of one country, Turkey, which for its own reasons does not share these values,” he added.
Dendias said that tension in the Eastern Mediterranean was not at the same high levels as last year but much will depend on what happens on July 20 and how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chooses to mark the anniversary of Turkey’s 1974 invasion of the north of the island republic of Cyprus.
“Even though we are facing less tension, I am sorry to say that I have not seen tangible proof of a change in either Turkey’s behavior nor of its beliefs. Namely, that it supports international law and the International Law of the Sea,” he added, noting that the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century had no place in the 21st.
At the same time, Dendias made clear that Greece does not see Turkey as a country that cannot belong to this architecture or share this approach based on international law, but that it was up to Turkey to make the decision and embrace democracy and western values.