Athens says open to threat-free dialogue with Ankara

Greece remains open to dialogue with Turkey in the absence of threats from Ankara, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday.

“Greece is always open to a dialogue with Turkey, but a dialogue not under the regime of threats, insults or attempts to create a fait accompli,” Reuters quoted Dendias as saying after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Arancha Gonzalez Laya.

Denidas’ remarks arrive amid soaring tensions between the NATO allies on an array of issues, the latest of which is Turkey’s reconversion of the iconic sixth century Hagia Sophia, the former seat of the Greek Orthodox Church, into a mosque last week.

Turkey and Greece are also locked into disputes over territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean, with Turkey sending ships to drill for gas off the divided island of Cyprus to press its claim to the waters there.