Greek Prime Minister calls for Turkey to improve bilateral relations

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday said he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should take "brave steps" to improve bilateral relations, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

“I call on Tayyip Erdoğan for a mutual approach in which we will take brave steps,” Anadolu quoted Mitsotakis as saying during his speech at the Greek parliament’s general assembly meeting.

Tensions have been soaring between Turkey on one side and Greek Cyprus and Greece on the other over drilling rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. Nicosia and Athens disagree with Ankara’s claims regarding drilling rights in the region. Turkey, the only nation to recognise Northern Cyprus, maintains that attempts by Cyprus to conduct gas exploration are a violation of the rights of the Turkish part of the divided island.

“We are living together in this geography. Unnecessary tensions and arms race deprive both countries of valuable resources,” Greek Prime Minister said.

On July 20, the 45th anniversary of Turkey's invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Erdoğan said the Turkish Army is ready to reinvade Cyprus if needed, adding that anyone who thinks the resources of Cyprus only belongs to them will face the determination of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots.