Turkish Coast Guard Boat Slams Greek Coast Vessel Near Imia

With tension remaining over Turkish plans to drill for oil and gas off Greek islands, it ratcheted up Jan. 7 when a Turkish Coast Guard boat collided with a Greek Coast Guard vessel near the islets of Imia where they almost went to war in 1996.

The newly-built Greek Rafnar-type speedboat suffered damage but the extent wasn’t given by sources not named who talked to the newspaper Kathimerini, which said the Turkish boat rammed the Greek ship.

The Greek Coast Guard said the boat was operating inside Greece’s territorial waters but Turkey’s Coast Guard said that two Greek fishing boats entered Turkish territorial waters near the island and were pushed back.

More details were expected to come as there was no report on whether of whether there was a response to the ramming.

Three Greek servicemen died in a helicopter crash off Imia in 1996 under mysterious circumstances still not explained, with some believing it was shot down and the incident covered up to prevent war as both countries then claimed the islets.


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WASHINGOTN - The full text of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ speech to the Joint Session of the US Congress is as follows: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, Honorable Members of the United States Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen, There is no greater honor for the elected leader of the people who created democracy than to address the elected representatives of the people who founded their country on the Greek model and have promoted and defended democratic values ever since.

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