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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview by the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos  on ERT Radio

In an interview he gave on Monday, 10 June 2019, on ERT radio to the journalist Thanos Siafakas, the Alternate Minister of National Defence, Panos Rigas, stated, among others, the following:

On Turkish provocativeness:

Our country's efforts for constant peace have been acknowledged. At the same time, with the many cooperations taking place, we exploit the economic capabilities and the cooperations we need. We will stay on this line. Of course, Turkey's provocative behaviour is lately on the rise and involves actions that do not contribute to peace in the region.  

There is no need to constantly increase tension. We insist on the need for contacts, within the framework of the Confidence-Building Measures. A Turkish delegation recently came to Greece for talks, these talks will continue in Turkey, in order to prevent any tension that may be created in case of military activities.

Let the Greek people be sure that the protection of our country's sovereign rights is a fact and no one can challenge this. Turkey challenges the International Treaties and the Law of the Sea as it sees fit and that is not a secret, it is well known internationally. The EU is fully aware of what is happening and its stance so far is a fact.

I hope Turkey will not go further with provocative actions; in any case, however, our country will protect its sovereign rights to the fullest. I would also like to remind that the US have already sent a message to Turkey, urging it to stop any provocative actions, this is also an important element.

On Mr. Simitis' article about Greek – Turkish relations:

Since Mr. Simitis is gravely responsible both for our national matters, as well as for the economic crisis, he should not make such statements at this moment or, at least, when he makes such statements, he should think about the developments during his tenure as Prime Minister and how painful they were for our country. This article allows doubt to be cast on our country's rights with regard to international treaties.