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06/03/2018 11:07:26

Statement by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos at the EU Defence Ministers Meeting in Brussels

    “Following our discussions with Ms Mogherini, I will raise today before the EU Defence Ministers Council, beyond the meeting’s agenda, the issue of the two Greek, and also European, servicemen who are being held in a maximum security prison in Turkey.

    The arrest of two Greek servicemen in Turkey in a border incident, which would normally be resolved upon negotiations between the two countries’ military Commanders, has escalated after the Turkish prosecutor refused that the two servicemen be held at the Greek consulate until their trial.

    This is an issue of concern for the European Union as well. The two Greek servicemen were patrolling an area where there is trafficking activity and illegal entry of refugees and migrants; they had a specific itinerary which, according to them, would lead to traffickers and illegal migrants who would come into the country from that point. The result was that they entered Turkish territory for a few metres and got arrested.

    This is an issue also concerning the relations between the European Union and Turkey.

    After the conclusion of the Minister Meeting, the NATO Deputy Secretary General will also be briefed on the issue.

    Turkey is a NATO member-state and an ally of Greece and NATO; such incidents should be peacefully resolved upon negotiations between the two countries’ Armed Forces”.


         

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