Turkey said on Tuesday that it was ready for talks with Greece without preconditions about the escalating spat over eastern Mediterranean gas that has two nervous NATO allies undertaking rival military exercises.
The olive branch comes ahead of informal meetings of EU foreign ministers in Berlin on Thursday and Friday at which Greece is expected to suppress the bloc.
But EU countries prefer to avoid obnoxious Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
At stake is Europe’s secure access to its newly discovered gas reserves and the stability of NATO and the entire volatile region, including war-torn Libya and Egypt.
Greece and Turkey are already divided on important issues including migration and Byzantine heritage in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople.
But the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has strained relations even more, with Turkey rejecting calls from the EU and Athens to immediately halt energy exploration in the region.