Athens may talk to Turkey but not under military pressure: Greek State Minister

News Desk

Greek Minister of State, Giorgos Gerapetritis has said that Athens will leave the door open for dialogue with Ankara but will not be pressured. Athens issued the remarks after a dispute over Mediterranean oil and gas stepped up between Greece and Turkey.

According to international media reports, Giorgos Gerapetritis said on Tuesday that Greece will not engage in any discussions with its rival Turkey as long as it keeps up piling on military pressure in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. He proclaimed that Greece will only discuss the issue of continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone.

Greece has in the meantime staged a naval exercise along with the United States (US). The war games took place south of Crete. The war games featured a Greek frigate, submarine, F-16 fighter jets and the destroyer. Turkey has also took an apparent swipe at Greece and announced holding naval drills this Monday.

Greece and Turkey have locked horns over the discovery of oil and gas deposits off the shores of Crete and Cyprus in contentious waters. Turkey announced on Monday that its activities in the disputed area will be extended until August 27, raising ire in Athens.

“Turkey will not take even the smallest step back from the activities of either the Oruc Reis or our naval elements escorting it,” the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the Greece.