The election of Joe Biden as the 46th US President has fired up expectations in Athens for a further improvement in Greek-US relations and that Washington will be supportive of Athens’s positions in its ongoing crisis with Turkey.
The earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey last week was a reminder that whatever their geopolitical differences, the two countries share some geographical risks.
Athens is trying to use all the diplomatic tools at its disposal to respond to what it sees as Turkish intransigence and aggressiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece appears to be adopting a careful approach to its rocky relationship with Turkey despite Ankara possibly thinking there is an opportune moment to advance its claims in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece was caught by surprise on Sunday night when Turkey decided to issue a NAVTEX for the Oruc Reis research vessel to conduct new surveys for hydrocarbon resources in an area that Athens claims to be part of its continental shelf.
The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey, Nikos Dendias and Mevlut Cavusoglu held their first meeting in a year on Thursday on the sidelines of the GLOBSEC Forum, in Bratislava.
In his second visit to Greece in almost a year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pleased his hosts with his messages of support and with his gestures during a time when the Greek government needed both, especially ahead of difficult talks with neighboring Turkey.
A new round of diplomatic moves is expected from the beginning of this week, ahead of the resumption of “exploratory talks” between Greece and Turkey.
Ankara’s decision to not extend the NAVTEX for the Oruc Reis research vessel is the outcome of intensive diplomatic activity, which took place behind the scenes over the last couple of days.
The Greek government is satisfied with the outcome of the Med7 summit in Corsica, chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has taken a leading role in efforts to rally opposition to Turkey’s actions in the East Med.