Flight plan flap hits war games

Following a disagreement between Athens and Ankara over the process whereby Turkish fighter aircraft would fly over the Aegean to participate in a NATO exercise in Greece, the Greek section of the maneuvers code-named Destined Glory 2002 has been canceled. The Ministry of Defense yesterday issued a statement saying that the war games in western Greece «will not take place as there was no agreement in the planning of the exercise between Greece and NATO’s Southern Central Command on procedures regarding coordination of air force matters.» Destined Glory will take place from October 5-18 in the central Mediterranean and Italy, and initially involved eight Turkish F-16 fighters being based for a few days at the Nea Anchialos military airport. From there, they would participate in flights between Preveza and Kyparissia. Ankara insisted – backed by NATO officials – that its jets should not submit flight plans before entering the Athens Flight Information Region. As a result, the Ministry of Defense canceled the Greek section of the exercise, after consultations with the Foreign Ministry. Karamanlis’s address at the Thessaloniki International Fair tomorrow is the right time for launching a substantial counterattack. ND has to inaugurate the opening of a new opposition term; a term where conservative discourse is not spent merely on rebuffing government achievements but on stressing what ND would have done instead or what it will do, should it come to power. Besides, that would be the best way of showing the ruling Socialists’ handicaps.

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