NEWS

ND chief says Turkey must show ‘goodwill’ and release Greek soldiers

TAGS: Diplomacy, Politics, Turkey

Turkey must release the two Greek soldiers it has had in custody since the start of the month as a “gesture of goodwill,” opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Brussels on Thursday.

Speaking to the media ahead of a meeting of the European People’s Party on the sidelines of Thursday’s European Union summit, the conservative leader said that he will be seeking an official statement on the issue from both forums.

“It is essential that Turkey gives us tangible signs of productive and essential cooperation that is not limited to the refugee crisis alone,” Mitsotakis said.

Ankara’s stance in the Aegean, on offshore drilling in Cyprus and in regards to the two imprisoned Greek soldiers should not be tolerated, Mitsotakis said.

In regards to ongoing name talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Mitsotakis accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of “never trying to form a common national front” on the issue.

“He could barely convince his own government partner,” Mitsotakis said, referring to an apparent rift over the name talks in the coalition government.

“We stipulated that [any deal is conditional] on changes to the constitution and the abolition of any irredentist ambitions,” the conservative leader said. “If these issues are not addressed, then there is no point in continuing with this discussion.”

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