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FM pays tribute to Imia standoff fatalities

FM pays tribute to Imia standoff fatalities

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday paid tribute to the three Greek Navy officers that were killed during the 1996 Imia crisis that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war.

“We will not forget [the officers] who died in the line of duty,” Dendias said in a tweet on the anniversary of the incident.

“We remain vigilant in the defense of our national interests, always guided by international law and the international law of the sea,” he said.

Turkey, which disputed the sovereignty of the uninhabited islets in the eastern Aegean, managed to land, undetected, a contingent of special forces on one of them on the night of January 27-28. A Greek helicopter sent to investigate crashed and the three naval aviators in it – Christodoulos Karathanasis, Panagiotis Vlahakos, and Ektoras Gialopsos – were killed. 

Further escalation was averted through US intervention.