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Aegean islands must also be on table of talks, Turkish officials say

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Any exploratory talks with Greece should include a number of outstanding issues in the Aegean, including airspace, search and rescue limits, and the status of several islands and islets, Turkish officials have reportedly said.

According to Skai television, unnamed Turkish officials on Friday said that Greece’s position – that the only difference which will be discussed in exploratory talks is the delimitation of marine borders and the exclusive economic zone – disregards Ankara’s concerns.

“There is the issue of national air space, which they [Greece] have expanded beyond territorial waters, and also the issue of the area of search and rescue,” the unnamed officials were quoted by Skai as saying.

The sovereignty of several islands and islets in the eastern Aegean “is also an issue,” they added.

“We cannot talk about the continental shelf without examining this issue. How can we discuss the issue of the continental shelf when we have doubts about the sovereignty of many islands and islets?” the unnamed officials were quoted as saying, adding that the demilitarization of the Greek islands close to Turkey is another matter that must be settled.