Greek Minister Responds to Turkish Defense Minister’s Statements

ATHENS – Greece “respects the principles of the rule of law, fights against terrorism and seeks dialogue,” noted Vice-President of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly Spilios Livanos on Tuesday.

Livanos was speaking in the context of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Mediterranean & Middle East Special Group (GSM) meeting held in Istanbul.

In an announcement issued by Livanos’ office, it was noted that “as the head of the Greek delegation at the meeting, Livanos was responding to statements by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who reiterated his claims on the issues of territorial waters and the demilitarization of [Greek] islands.”

The announcement underlined that Livanos, “speaking in a strong tone, wondered how is it possible for Turkey, on the one hand, to invoke the NATO Alliance and, on the other, the casus beli, while highlighting that the neighboring country speaks of state sovereignty, while it is the one that has invaded Cyprus.”

It was also noted that Livanos also referred “to the continuous and intensifying overflights of Turkish fighter jets over the Aegean, as well as to the consistently more aggressive revisionist rhetoric on Turkey’s part.”

PASOK-KINAL MP for foreign policy Andreas Loverdos, also a member of the Greek delegation at the meeting alongside New Democracy MPs Spilios Livanos and Manoussos Voloudakis and SYRIZA’s MP Theodora Tzakri, told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) that during the Istanbul meeting “the Turkish defense minister, in an inappropriate manner and with a clear disposition to attack Greece, turned a multilateral NATO parliamentary meeting into a discussion on the Greek-Turkish issue.”

Loverdos noted that Akar “repeated, without having been provoked, the recent unacceptable and unsubstantiated arguments articulated by the Turkish side, and when he started receiving the substantiated answers from members of the Greek delegation, he interrupted the meeting and left the room.”

“It is obvious,” he added, “that the Turkish leadership is operating under a regime of loss of composure,” and he noted that “such behaviour does not help Turkey. The fronts that [Turkey] keeps opening are far greater and they surpass it.”


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