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Greek State Min: Any Turkish Provocation Will Be Addressed Appropriately

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Greek Minister of State George Gerapetritis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS -- "Any provocation on Turkey's part will be dealt with accordingly," said State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis on Friday, adding that Greece has its allies, as well as international law, on its side. He noted that the US State Department's statement describing Turkey's actions with respect to the Exclusive Economic Zone as "provocative", was very positive for Greece.

Speaking to Radio Thessaloniki he said June 15 was a crucial date because seasonal hotels will open on that day. Regarding Albania and North Macedonia, where the latter has seen an upsurge of coronavirus cases in recent days, he noted that travel to both countries, in any case, is not currently permitted until June 15 and that the restrictions will then be re-examined to determine whether they should be lifted or extended.

On Greek-Turkish relations and whether he is afraid of an incident with the neighbouring country in the summer, Gerapetritis said that the government "is totally prepared for all scenarios. There is an operational plan which has been drawn up by the foreign and defence ministries. We are wary but not worried because were are ready to address this kind of provocation. We are monitoring the situation very closely".

On Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' upcoming visit to Israel, he referred to "very important agreements' that Greece has signed with Israel, agreements relating to the energy sector "so that there is a very big community of interests," while there is also cooperation in the defence sector. He also pointed to agreements with Egypt, Middle Eastern countries, Europe, the US and Russia, noting that these give Greece "diplomatic and operational 'tools' so that we are fully prepared to respond accordingly if something happens with Turkey... We will do whatever is necessary to safeguard our sovereign rights and in this battle we will not be alone."