Tsipras, Trump to speak on phone in com­ing days

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Athens and Wash­ing­ton are en­gaged in con­sul­ta­tions to set up a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump over the next few days, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

The gov­ern­ment is at­tach­ing great sig­nif­i­cance to the con­ver­sa­tion in its bid to get a clearer pic­ture of Trump’s po­si­tion on sev­eral is­sues, not least the Greek bailout pro­gram.

At the same time, of­fi­cials in both coun­tries are busy try­ing to ham­mer out a date for a meet­ing be­tween US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son and his Greek coun­ter­part Nikos Kotzias to dis­cuss, among other mat­ters, the state of re­la­tions be­tween NATO al­lies Greece and Tur­key.

As Kathimerini re­ported yes­ter­day, the US has al­ready asked Ankara to tone down its ag­gres­sive stance in the Aegean.

For his part, Tsipras made a veiled ref­er­ence to Greek-Turk­ish re­la­tions af­ter his meet­ing yes­ter­day with Mal­tese Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat in Athens, say­ing that re­spect for in­ter­na­tional law and treaties, and the prin­ci­ple of good-neigh­borly re­la­tions, is of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance at a time when the wider re­gion is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly desta­bi­lized. Greece is de­ter­mined, he said, to safe­guard sta­bil­ity and its sovereignty in the Aegean. None­the­less, he added that de­spite Tur­key’s “provo­ca­tions,” Greece is keep­ing diplo­matic lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open with Ankara.

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