ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday that he was always open to meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as tensions between the two historical rivals mount.
The two uneasy neighbours have feuded for years over maritime borders and energy exploration rights in disputed parts of the Aegean and in the eastern Mediterranean.
Athens also accuses Ankara of flying over Greek islands, while Turkey has been angered by recent Greek defence agreements with France and the United States.
But at a press conference as part of the Thessaloniki International Fair, Mr Mitsotakis said on Sunday that he remained open to a meeting with Mr Erdogan but that he could not force one.
"I consider recent statements by the Turkish President unacceptable. However, we will always try to keep communication channels open," the Greek Premier said.
He added that an informal European Union (EU) summit in early October in Prague might be a chance for this to happen.
Mr Mitsotakis also accused Turkey of distorting reality.
Mr Erdogan has repeatedly accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) ally Greece of "occupying" Aegean islands whose status was settled in post-war treaties.
Asked whether he thinks Turkey is going to provoke a military conflict in the Aegean, the Greek Prime Minister answered that he could not "even imagine a military confrontation".
But he warned that in such a scenario, Greece's armed forces would give a "decisive answer".
This week, Athens formally complained to the EU, Nato and the United Nations after Mr Erdogan warned in a speech: "We have one thing to say to Greece: Remember Izmir."
It was a reference to the 1922 fall of the western city of Izmir in Turkey that was followed by its burning and a massacre of the ethnic Greek population. AFP