On Wednesday, Greece reacted to what it called “repeated threats of war” by Turkey after Ankara threatened it “will do what is necessary” if Athens refuses to demilitarize the Aegean islands.
“The statements made by Turkish officials on the demilitarization of the Aegean islands have been repeatedly rejected in their entirety on the basis of a series of arguments, which are also contained in the relevant letters that Greece has sent to the UN Secretary-General,” the Foreign Ministry in Athens stated.
“The questioning of the sovereignty of the Greek islands and the increase of tension in the Aegean through threats of war have been condemned in their entirety by the International Community.
“Greece, in accordance with International Law and the Law of the Sea, once again rejects the Turkish unilateral claims in their entirety and describes the repeated threats of war as totally unacceptable,” the statement said.
Turkey threatened Greece again on Tuesday
On Tuesday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened that Turkey would do “what is necessary” if Greece does not comply with the treaties which stipulate the disarmament of these islands.
“Either Greece takes a step back and abides by agreements, or we will do what is necessary,” he stated.
If Athens doesn’t want peace, Ankara will do whatever is necessary,” the minister said, recalling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s warning that “Türkiye can come suddenly one night.”
Greece has always dismissed Turkey’s claims, responding that as long as there is a Turkish military threat to these islands, they will not be demilitarized.
US Congress calls on Turkey to stop overflights over Greece
In a separate development, the US Congress sent a clear message to Turkey regarding overflights over Greek islands, including a reference to this issue in the explanatory text accompanying the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), which was finalized on Tuesday night.
In this document, drawn up by the defense committees of the US Congress and Senate, US lawmakers expressed their view that NATO allies should not carry out unauthorized overflights in the airspace of other NATO member-states.
The Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA) reports that the specific wording is considered a statement of legislative intent by the Congress to US President Joe Biden’s administration, as it sends the message that Ankara’s provocations in the Aegean should be addressed before the White House sends the official notification on the F-16 agreement to Congress.
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