NEWS

Athens rebuffs accusations from Ankara

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Athens issued a stern response on Wednesday to a verbal attack launched by Ankara targeting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, implying that it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

“It is an oxymoron that the very country which has systematically made a number of aggressive statements over the last few days through its government officials, who directly threaten Greece and even contest its territorial sovereignty, is accusing our country of ‘provocative statements and actions’,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou was quoted in an official announcement as saying.

His comments came in the wake of Turkey’s expressed dismay at statements made by Dendias during contacts with the US undersecretary of state and with his Saudi counterpart on Tuesday regarding Ankara’s aggressive activities. 

“Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias expresses the firm positions of the Greek government as regards foreign policy issues, positions that reflect Greece’s commitment to respecting international law and safeguarding the interests of our country,” Papaioannou noted. He added that “these positions are outlined in a calm and sober manner, while studiously refraining from mentioning by name officials from other countries, as is customary in diplomatic practice.”

The Greek official also expressed his disappointment that the Turkish Foreign Ministry “violates this cardinal rule and is throwing unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations against officials of other countries, such as Greece’s prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.”

Turkey had, among other things, referred to Greek claims against Turkey as “delusions of Dendias.”

Greece, Papaioannou said, will continue to build its relations with neighboring and other countries in the framework of respect for international law, and to strengthen its alliances and partnerships, which are of a purely defensive nature.