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Politics

Tsipras Too Tells Turkey to Back Off Tough Talk, Provocations

RHODES – Generally critical of the New Democracy government’s handling of relations with Turkey, major opposition SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras agreed though that Turkey should stop with the belligerent statements.

During a visit to the islands of Rhodes and Symi in the Eastern Aegean near Turkey’s coast he told the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA that angry talk and demands don’t work.

“Heightening the rhetoric and tension and casting doubt on international treaties is ineffective and benefits no one. Whatever happens, the Greek people and Greece will defend their sovereignty and sovereign rights, and in this all Greeks are united,” he said about the ongoing troubles.

He said that the only real point of serious disagreement is over the Continental Shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone “which must be resolved on the basis of International Law at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

That was in agreement with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ offer for the court to mediate the disputes over the seas with Turkey planning to send an energy research vessel and warships off Greek islands to hunt for oil and gas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also warned that it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its maritime boundaries from 6 to12 miles and said he wants return of some Aegean islands ceded away under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that he doesn’t recognize unless only invoking to his advantage.

 

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