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No joint patrols in Aegean says Greek foreign minister

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Greece was not prepared to conduct joint patrols with Turkish forces in the Aegean Sea as a means of tackling the refugee crisis, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told Alpha radio on Thursday. “This would mean Turkish vessels entering our territorial waters, a move which could have long-term consequences,” the minister added.

The minister’s remarks came a day after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Greece to reconsider its position regarding the idea of joint patrols, noting that such a development would be "very useful" in the Aegean. 

In his remarks on Wednesday, Juncker described Turkey as an important yet difficult partner, adding that joint patrols in the area were pivotal given that Turkey had become a gateway for hundreds of thousands of refugees. He suggested that the Turkish authorities did not discard the idea of joint patrols.