No US naval inspections in Aegean

Greece has rejected an American request for unrestricted powers that would allow US warships to stop and search ships in Greek territorial waters as part of Washington’s efforts to fight international terrorism, the government said yesterday. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas said Foreign Minister George Papandreou had conveyed Greece’s response to his US counterpart during the NATO-Russia meeting outside Rome earlier this week. «Mr Papandreou looked into the US request and answered that, for constitutional reasons and due to considerations of independence and national sovereignty, it has not been accepted,» Protopappas said. «Of course, we want to contribute to the international fight against terrorism… We are prepared, when we are notified, to cooperate and carry out the inspections ourselves with our own forces.» The government only admitted the request had been made – noting that other countries had also been approached – after the Eleftherotypia daily reported it last week. The paper said the matter was first raised in March.