BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:40 P.M.) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Tuesday, that the confrontation between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean has reached a “very critical” stage, but stressed that the two sides appear ready for talks.
After holding meetings in Athens and Ankara, Maas said, as quoted by the AFP, “There is no doubt that the situation is very critical. Nobody wants to solve this issue in a military way, and there is a willingness on both sides for dialogue.”
The German Foreign Minister said that Greece and Turkey want to calm military tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, warning that “any spark, no matter how small, could lead to disaster.”
Maas said after meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias: “The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean has played with fire and any spark, no matter how small, may lead to disaster. Nobody can have an interest in that, and certainly not in a military confrontation between NATO’s partners and its neighbors.”
Maas went to the Turkish capital later today to hold similar talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Maas’s visit to Athens and Ankara comes ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Berlin later this week, where the Turkish-Greek conflict will be discussed.
Germany is leading European efforts to avert an outright military conflict that could jeopardize Europe’s future access to newly discovered energy reserves.