Greece: Contact with Turkey restarted over East Med crisis

Greece says it has resumed high-level political contacts with Turkey to try and de-escalate a dispute over offshore energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece says it has resumed high-level political contacts with neighboring Turkey to try and de-escalate a dispute over offshore energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The discussions, Petsas said, were taking place between aides to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Allies of the two NATO members have warned that the standoff and rival military build-ups in the area — between Greek islands, Turkey’s southern coast, and Cyprus — had increased the risk of a military confrontation.

The European Union is due to consider a list of potential sanctions against Turkey next week. EU officials say the dispute can only be resolved through negotiations.

Petsas said that direct communication between Mitsotakis and Erdogan was possible ahead of the Sept. 24-25 EU meetings.