Berlin urges Ankara to respect Greek islands' sovereignty

Published: 10:34 PM, 29 Jul, 2022
Berlin urges Ankara to respect Greek islands' sovereignty
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Visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Friday rejected Turkish territorial claims to Greek islands in the Aegean, urging Ankara to respect Greek sovereignty.

"The Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, Rhodes and many others are Greek territories and nobody has the right to question them," said Baerbock alongside Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Greece and Turkey have long been at loggerheads over disputed airspace and maritime zones in the Aegean, and the tension has been exacerbated by the discovery of lucrative gas reserves in the Mediterranean.

In recent months, Ankara has also threatened to challenge Greece's sovereignty over Aegean Sea islands if it continued to station troops there.

Baerbock, who arrived in Turkey later Friday, called for dialogue between the two neighbours and respect for each other's sovereignty.

Greece urged Germany to halt delivery of military equipment to Turkey, where Ankara has a joint venture with Germany's Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems to build six 214-class submarines.

These submarines "threaten to shift the balance of forces in the Eastern Mediterranean and to shift it in favour of a country which, though a member of NATO, has issued (a threat of war) against Greece," Dendias said.

"The paradigm of revisionism must not succeed. Should it succeed, Greece may be the next victim," Dendias added, accusing Turkey of "violating" Greek sovereign rights.

Turkey is also seeking to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States and has accused the Greek American lobby in Washington of trying to block the process.

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Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.