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Visiting Kasos, Mitsotakis Says Greece Won’t Back Down from Turkey

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits Kassos.(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dmimitris Papamitsos)

KASOS - Turkish provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean won't go unanswered if it comes to a conflict, Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said while visiting the island of Kasos.

But he said he won't give up yet on diplomacy, which has failed as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would go ahead to have energy ships start drilling for oil and gas off Crete under a deal Turkey signed with Libya, dividing the seas between them.

"My presence here today…symbolizes our unwavering belief that we will defend these (national) rights and our national integrity by any available means,” he told Armed Forces personnel and soldiers on the Dodecanese island during a Christmas day visit.

"Greece always strives for a peaceful resolution of its differences with the neighboring country (Turkey.” We have complete confidence in our rights and we are always guided by our full respect of international law because we simply know that law is on our side,” he added, said Kathimerini.

That comes amid growing worries of a military confrontation with Erdogan stepping up tension after not being blocked from having Turkish ships drill off Cyprus, ignoring that country's legitimate government, Greece, the United States and soft European Union sanctions.

Mitsotakis said he was happy with moral support from the EU, which won't go as far as getting tougher on Turkey, fearful that Erdogan will make good on his threat to flood the bloc with millions more refugees and migrants who went to his country fleeing war and strife, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, among other areas.