‘Don’t try to dance with Turkey’: Angry Erdogan cuts off talks with Greece

Turkey will no longer hold high-level talks with neighboring Greece, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says amid rising tensions between the traditional rivals.

Ankara resumed negotiations with Athens last year following a five-year break to address differences over a range of issues such as mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea.

“We broke off our high-level strategy council meetings with Greece,” Erdogan tells a meeting of his party’s lawmakers in Ankara, adding: “Don’t you learn any lessons from history? Don’t try to dance with Turkey.”

The talks had made little headway, but were a means for the two countries to air out their grievances without resorting to a potential armed standoff as had occurred as recently as two years ago.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, on a two-day official visit to Greece, meets Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, leader of the main opposition New Democracy party in Athens, December 7, 2017. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool via AP)

Erdogan’s pivot on the talks appeared to have been triggered last week when he signaled his displeasure at comments made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a trip to the US

Erdogan says Mitsotakis “no longer exists” for him after accusing the Greek leader of trying to block Turkey’s acquisition of F-16 fighter planes.

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