63rd round of talks between Greece and Turkey kicks off amid renewed tensions

The 63rd round of preliminary talks between Greece and Turkey will take place in Ankara on Wednesday, amid renewed tensions between the two neighboring countries and NATO “partners”.

Negotiations usually take place at a low diplomatic level after a series of provocative statements and actions by Turkey in recent days.

The most serious incident was attack the research vessel Nautical Geo, which surveyed the EastMed gas pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. The Maltese-flagged vessel is currently conducting research in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense said on Monday that the Maltese-flagged vessel Nautical Geo was driven off the Turkish continental shelf over the weekend after its warned about violation of the border.

In addition to the attack on the ship, Turkish fighters committed several violations of Greek airspace, some of which were armed, the Greek Defense Ministry said. At the same time, Turkey has again called for the demilitarization of the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean. In a letter to the UN dated September 30, Turkey ostensibly accused Greece of violating the relevant provisions of the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 and called for “the withdrawal of Greek troops from the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria, Lemnos and Samothrace due to their proximity to the Turkish mainland.”

Referring to the 63rd round of preliminary negotiations, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that it is unacceptable that Turkey, through constant provocations and inflammatory statements, tries to undermine the atmosphere of the negotiations even before they start.

“Greece does not threaten anyone, but it is not afraid of illegal actions either. It will defend its sovereignty, it will defend its sovereign rights in accordance with international law and the law of the sea, ”Dendias emphasized.

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