Kotzias: Turkey should not misread our tolerance as a weakness

22 February 2017
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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Greece must be ready for any kind of provocation by Turkey.

In an interview on a Skai TV show, Mr. Kotzias underlined that “we must be ready at all times, militarily, diplomatically, in our morale for any kind of incident”.

He went on to say that Greece has ll the necessary responses to Turkey, either legal, military, diplomatic or otherwise to Turkish aggression without being provocative. Mr. Kotzias clarified that Greece had open channels of communications with Turkey, adding that it fostered no contentious disposition towards Turkey.

Commenting on the escalation of tensions in the Aegean Sea by Turkey the Foreign Minister warned that Turkey should reconsider her stance, as Greece would not always be “tolerant” and that would be willing to respond harshly. On the infamous “visit” of the Turkish Chief of General Staff to the isles of Imia, Mr. Kotzias said even he wanted to set foot on the island he could not have because Greece had taken all the precautionary safety measures.

“Turkey would making a grave error if it believes that because we are in an economic crisis we are weak regarding the defence of our security and sovereignty”, he underscored. Commenting on the perceived notion that Turkey followed a well-planned and consistent foreign policy, Mr Kotzias said Turkey’s fundamental policy was to turn the whole Aegean Sea into an area of dispute, while he rejected the claim that Turkish aggressiveness was connected to the case of the non-extradition by Greek justice of the 8 Turkish military officials.

He said that Turkey’s stance had been present a long time before the incident with failed coup in Turkey. “Condemning the coup attempt against Turkey does not mean that every Turkish citizen labeled a coup-supporter by Turkey will be judged as that by Greek courts”, he said.

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