Greek President stresses desire for good relations with Turkey


Greek government support for the democratically elected government in Turkey during the failed coup attempt in July is clear indication that Athens wants to preserve good-neighborly relations with Ankara, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said Tuesday, adding that Athens stands firmly behind Turkey’s European Union membership ambitions.

He was speaking during a visit to Kalymnos in commemoration of the 1947 annexation of the Dodecanese islands to Greece.

However, Pavlopoulos added, “Greece is determined, on the basis of international… and European law, to defend its borders, its territorial integrity and its sovereignty.”

His comments came amid a barrage of air space violations by three Turkish fighter jets in the eastern Aegean. The aircraft, which were not armed, were chased off by Greek jets in accordance with international regulations, officials said.

Later in the day, Pavlopoulos traveled to the small islet of Pserimos.

During a visit to Rhodes on Monday, Pavlopoulos said that there are no “gray zones” in the Aegean Sea, adding that any claims from Ankara pose a threat not just to Greek sovereignty, but also to that of the EU.