Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is scheduled to talk with the U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna on Friday, and the meeting is seen as a significant step in Greece’s concerted efforts to counteract Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean which has culminated in the departure of the research ship Oruc Reis and the Turkish fleet accompanying it in the Greek continental shelf over the past days.
The meeting is expected to take place at 16:00 noon on Friday (local time) in Vienna.
The US State Department issued a clear statement the day after the Oruc Reis sailed into Greek waters that “the United States is deeply concerned about Turkey’s stated plans for natural resource exploration in areas where Greece and Cyprus are laying claims on in the Eastern Mediterranean” noting that “such actions are provocative and increase tensions in the region.”
Greece considers Mike Pompeo a staunch supporter of Greece’s right to an EEZ islands, as well as for the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.
An hour before the meeting with the head of the State Department, Nikos Dendias, who is in Vienna, will also take part in the teleconference of the 27 EU Foreign Ministers chaired by High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell. The meeting is scheduled to last one hour. Apart from France, Austria and other countries that are in line with the views of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, Germany’s stance on Turkish provocations remains a question – and other countries that appear to be less favourable on imposing sanctions against Turkey for its delinquent behaviour and the attempt to usurp the sovereign rights of two EU member states.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone Thursday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and then with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It is unknown whether she intends to act as a mediator in the dispute, although most believe it is unlikely the German leader would take any initiatives.
European Council President Charles Michel also had a telephone conversation with Tayyip Erdogan and Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday. Mr. Mitsotakis informed Mr. Michel about the Turkish provocation in view of the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.