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Greece says Turkey is an “unreliable interlocutor”; EU against Erdogan for insulting Macron

Greece said Monday that Turkey plans to carry out a maritime military exercise on Oct. 28, a Greek national holiday, just hours after NATO’s secretary general said both Greece and Turkey had called off war-games on each other’s national holidays. Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Ankara’s move showed it was an “unreliable” partner when it comes to negotiations. At the same time, the European Union is uniting around the French President and against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he insulted Emmanuel Macron, claimed he needed “mental treatment.”

“Over the last few days, Turkey has been making a persistent effort to prove that not only is it a troublemaker in our wider region, but it is also a completely unreliable interlocutor,” Petsas said.

By issuing a new illegal NAVTEX  for a sea area that encroaches on the Greek continental shelf south of Rhodes, Turkey has shown for the umpteenth time that it insists on a provocative and illegal behaviour that completely disregards international law, shows contempt for the pleas of the international community and the European Council and aims to destabilise the region, he added.

“We informed our allies and we lodged a demarche with Ankara. Greece’s greatest success is that, in a short space of time, it has turned a Greek-Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot difference into a Euro-Turkish difference. The United States, which had hitherto maintained a neutral stance, is strongly supporting Greek rights for the first time,” Petsas pointed out.

Alongside diplomacy, Greece also has the deterrent force required to defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights from all designs against it, he noted. “The Greek Armed Forces are on full alert and have proved this in the field,” Petsas said.

He recalled that just a few hours after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said both Greece and Turkey were canceling military exercises scheduled for this week on each other’s national holidays, Turkey issued a new maritime safety warning, known as a Navtex, announcing a military exercise during Greece’s Oct. 28 holiday.

The government spokesman also said Turkey had issued a Navtex for more research to be carried out in an area “covering sections of the Greek continental shelf” south of the Greek island of Rhodes.

  • BREAKING Late Monday afternoon, Greek media report that Turkey canceled its military exercise scheduled for October 28 as a “good will gesture.”

Meanwhile, it is not only Greece furious at Turkey but the whole European Union after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insulted his French counterpart over the weekend, reiterated the insults on Monday and also called for boycott of French goods.

Erdogan claimed that Muslims in Europe subjected to a “lynch campaign similar to that against Jews before World War II.”

.The European Union will “have to think again” what it can do if Turkey continues its provocative actions and statements, the European Commission’s spokesperson for foreign affairs issues, Peter Stano, said on Monday. He also repeated that the EU will always stand of the side of its member-states.

“I can only repeat…that the EU has expressed full solidarity with its member-states, be it Cyprus, be it Greece, be it France now. So there is full solidarity because we are the EU and these countries are a part of the EU,” Stano said, replying to questions about the Commission’s response to the disparaging comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about French President Emmanuel Macron.

He said that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell was in constant contact with all stakeholders and that his comments on Twitter reflected the European position.

Among others, German Chancellor Merkel condemned the ‘defamatory’ Erdogan criticism of Macron.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his full support and solidarity to Macron on Sunday.

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