German FM calls for ‘direct discussions’ between Greece and Turkey

TAGS: Diplomacy, Turkey

“The windows for dialogue between Greece and Turkey must now be opened further and not closed,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an emailed statement before meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his counterpart, Nikos Dendias, in Athens on Tuesday.

“Instead of new provocations, we finally need steps toward an easing of tensions and to initiate direct discussions,” Bloomberg reported Maas as saying as he heads to Greece and Turkey on Tuesday in a bid to ease tension between the two neighbors and NATO allies, which have peaked dangerously over recent weeks over energy prospecting rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

After Athens, Maas is scheduled to travel to Ankara, where he will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Maas’ visit comes ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers later this week, in which Turkey is expected to be discussed.

“Greece’s voice will have special weight,” Maas said of the discussion.