No gray zones in Aegean saId Tsipras, 130 islets have no identity , just pieces of rock, said Vildirim
|Posted by moodhacker on February 4, 2017 at 5:00 AM|
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a message to Turkey on February 3, saying that “there are no gray zones in the Aegean” answering to multiple Turkish provocations that challenge Greece’s sea borders, and first of all to his Turkish counterpart who appeared on the same morning on the Turkish newspaper Hurriet claiming that a total of 130 islets in the Aegean "have no identity" and are therefore subject to dispute.
Tsipras was in Malta for the informal EU summit where he stated
“Let me be clear; there are no gray zones in the Aegean, There is firm determination from Greece to defend the European and international law and its sovereign rights and there is also determination to deal with composure with all problems that arise, always based on dialogue, cooperation and not sensationalist actions,” he said, adding,
“Do not forget; Greek borders are European borders.This road ( of Turkish provocations ) leads to nowhere. Greece was, is and will be determined to defend its sovereign rights under international law and European law, which is violated by the other side.””
From his side Turkish PM Yildirim refered to the Greek Supreme Court decision, which was the cause thaaat spiked the escalation of the two countries provocations, to rule against the extradition of eight Turkish military officers who Ankara has linked to a failed coup last year. Vildirim said Athens stance was disappointing
According to the newspaper, Yildirim revealed to the reporters that he wrote to Alexis Tsipras about the extradition ruling and expressed Ankara's desire for a revision of the Greek Supreme Court ruling against the extradition, but got no answer.
The tURKISH Prime Minister took the chance to underline to the Turkish media that "Turkey is not behaving in a way that will spoil relations with Greece." when asked by reporters for the recent flight of the Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over Imia islets, named in Turkish Kardak .
Yildirim said Ankara responded "smiling" to "occasional excesses and provocations from the other side" and underlined the need for good neighborly relations. "Geography is fate. We cannot choose our neighbors," he said whith slight irony
As for the Aegean, he referred to "130 small and large pieces of rock in the Aegean... which have no identity and it is not clear who they belong to... The beginning of the problem in the Aegean is not new, it has a very deep history."
In a related development the Turkish Foreign Ministry objected to Greek media reports about an upcoming military exercise on Kos, claiming that the Greek island is "demilitarized" and that such an exercise would be illegal, but Greece's answer was completely oposit e