Greek Foreign Minister Accuses Turkey of Undermining Security and Stability in Eastern Mediterranean

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On Wednesday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias accused Turkey of undermining the stability and security of the eastern Mediterranean. He also said Ankara was causing issues with all its neighbors, while violating Greek airspace and territorial waters daily.

During a visit to Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, accompanied by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Dendias slammed Turkey’s actions in recent months in the Aegean Sea. He said that Ankara must “abstain from its illegal gunboat diplomacy”.

Dendias accused Turkey of “continuously violating the sovereignty of Libya, Syria, Iraq and our EU partner, the Republic of Cyprus. It is violating almost daily Greece’s national airspace and territorial waters, including overflights of inhabited areas here in Evros and the Aegean Sea by armed warplanes”.

Borrell said “It’s very clear that we are determined to protect the external borders of the European Union and to strongly support Greece’s sovereignty”. His visit to Greece comes after a number of recent incidents involving Turkey, “in order to show our solidarity and to show how much we share your concerns”.

Borrell said he and Dendias had discussed the deteriorating relations with Turkey and “how we can stop the dynamics of escalation”. Greece and Turkey are also in dispute over oil and gas exploratory drilling rights in the Mediterranean.

Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt have strongly criticised a Turkish agreement with the Tripoli based government in Libya. The agreement would allow Turkey to claim a large swathe of the Mediterranean, infringing the sovereign rights of regional neighbours.