Retired Greek diplomat Pavlos Apostolidis, who heads a a Greek delegation leading exploratory talks with Turkey about disputes over the Aegean, said that Greece is not ready for a settlement.
He told Kathimerini that it’s unlikely the talks will lead to a solution because Greece is distracted by an economic crisis and political issues that have dogged the coalition government led by Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras.
“Because we are not ready yet,” he said. “It is difficult for Greece to add foreign affairs to its agenda in its economically, politically and socially tough environment.”
When asked whether Greece would start negotiations about the borders of an Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt, Apostolidis said: “One of the main players in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea is Turkey. Thus, in the absence of Turkey, no sea border can be set. Davutoğlu is right in saying this.”
He was referring to what Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in a speech in Athens, that no maritime border could be set without the agreement of Turkey, which was labeled “the main player in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.”
Apostolidis said that if Turkish interests in the area are dismissed, then any results, either physical or legal, will not be accepted by Ankara.