US and Germany encourage Greece and Turkey to dialogue

The US and Germany are encouraging Greece and Turkey to dialogue ahead of the EU summit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel would like the two countries to enter into dialogue ahead of a crucial summit, which will discuss the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Kathimerini reported.

Earlier Merkel spoke by phone with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis. She agreed with his position, according to which dialogue can begin only if Ankara stops provocations and takes practical steps to reduce tensions. Mitsotakis noted that the de-escalation with the departure of the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis last Saturday should not be artificial.

Athens is reportedly leaning towards initial consultations at the level of the relevant government advisers, as it did in Berlin in August. It is believed that if Turkey is not bluffing and things are indeed moving towards de-escalation, then a meeting at the level of foreign ministers may follow.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on everyone involved in the ongoing dispute over sea and energy rights in the Eastern Mediterranean region to reduce tensions. In an interview with France Inter radio, Pompeo said all parties should resolve their differences in accordance with international conventions, without the use of military force, but through the usual mechanisms for resolving international disputes.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mitsotakis said after a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel that Turkey still has time - before and after the summit - to continue the first hopeful step towards overcoming this crisis.

The de-escalation in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas must be continuous and consistent, he said.