Greece has ruled out that the issue of demilitarization of Aegean islands could be on the table between Greece and Turkey. This was confirmed by government spokesman Stelios Petsas during the briefing on Thursday.
Asked whether the government can assure that the issue of demilitarization or withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Greek islands will not be on the agenda of the Greek-Turkish talks, Petsas reportedly replied “Of course.”
Petsas clarified that the object of the exploratory contacts is the delimitation of the maritime zones, continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) – and nothing else as Turkey insists.
“Greece is coming to the exploratory contacts having already signed the internationally legal agreements with Italy and Egypt, where the right of the islands to the continental shelf and the EEZ is confirmed,” he added
Greece continues to expect more from Turkey than just plain promises.
Reiterating that the agreement on the resumption of exploratory contacts is “a positive step.” Pestas added ” Of course, as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed yesterday at the summit of the European People’s Party, there has to be continuity and consistency from the Turkish side.”
He added that the Greek government made it clear from the very first moment that it is “ready for dialogue but not under a regime of threats and blackmail.”
The government spokesman said that “the prime minister in all his international contacts has highlighted the European dimension of the problem that touches on vital European interests in the Eastern Mediterranean. There is now ready a list of sanctions in case Turkey insists on unilateral action.”