Greece shouldn’t rely on others over issues with Turkey: Foreign Ministry

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Greece can resolve issues with Turkey only by engaging in dialogue and not by relying on others, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Dec. 6.

“Greece can only resolve its bilateral issues with Turkey by sitting at the table, cooperation, and dialogue, not by relying on others,” Hami Aksoy, the ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

Aksoy’s remarks came after Greek media reports claimed that Turkey has increased military activities in the Aegean and the Mediterranean ahead of the upcoming EU leaders summit.

“News on this matter is unrealistic. On the contrary, Greece continues its provocative and tension-escalating military activities in the region by announcing that it will perform 24 military activities in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean with the “11 NAVTEX” and “12 NOTAM” issued since Oct. 20, 2020,” Aksoy said, referring to maritime and aviation notices.

Noting that Greece keeps the channels of dialogue closed on military issues, he said it also prevents the NATO secretary general’s de-confliction initiative from moving further.

Aksoy said that Athens has not been attending meetings planned to be held by NATO military authorities since Oct. 9.

Amid recent tensions in the region, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have increased their pressure on other EU members to impose sanctions on Turkey during the EU leaders’ summit next Friday.

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

Ankara has sent several drill ships in the past weeks to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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 negotiation.
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Hurriyet Daily News

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