Finland-Turkey cooperation in UN irritates Greece

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(121012) -- BRUSSELS, Oct. 12, 2012 (Xinhua) -- The European Union flags flutter in front of EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 12, 2012. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union on Friday. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

The continuation of the cooperation between Turkey and Finland in the U.N. has disappointed Greece, the Greek ambassador to Finland said on Dec. 1.

Finland and Turkey currently share the chairmanship of the U.N. Group of Friends of Mediation, which was established 11 years ago. The group consists of 52 countries and eight organizations.

Speaking to Finland’s Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper, Georgios Ayfantis said he does not understand why Finland protects its cooperation with Turkey at the U.N. and Finnish diplomats defend it in public.

“My colleagues in Athens and I are shocked by Finland’s statements. Is this Finland’s official position?” Ayfantis said.

“I do not want to interfere in internal Finnish affairs, but I expect clarifications from my colleagues at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. We are very disappointed with Finland’s position on this issue.”

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration in the region and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara has sent several drillships and seismic research vessels in the past weeks to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.

Hurriyet Daily News

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