Turkey ‘looking forward’ to Tsipras’s visit, says ambassador


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's two-day visit to Ankara on Tuesday, during which he will meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will help promote a “positive agenda,” the country's Ambassador to Greece, Burak Ozugergin, said in an interview with the state-run news agency ANA-MPA, published on Monday.

“We are very much looking forward to this visit,” he told ANA-MPA, adding that “we have better days to come.”

He said Turkey is ready to refer bilateral problems to international organizations.

“We have always said that we are ready to employ any of the dispute-solving mechanisms shown by the UN system – negotiation, arbitration, recourse to the judiciary, etc,”

Asked whether Turkish parliament should finally drop its “casus belli” threat adopted in 1995 to prevent Greece from extending its territorial waters to 12 miles, the ambassador said: “The declaration of the Turkish Parliament back in the 90’s was not made in a vacuum. It was a response to a step taken by the Greek Parliament just a week before. So it was a reaction to what we felt was a possible move that would greatly violate our legitimate rights and suffocate us in the Aegean.”

Concerning the repeated violations of Greek airspace in the Aegean, he suggested that his country is adhering to international law.

“I encourage you to understand what it is that the Turkish flights mean, and what does international law say about it. Again, it might surprise you to hear that it is actually Turkey that suggests that adherence to international law would help to reduce tensions,” he was quoted as saying.