In a new statement on the latest developments in relations with Ankara, main opposition New Democracy shadow foreign minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos on Wednesday accused Turkey showing utter disregard for international law and good neighbour relations through its provocative statements about the Imia islets.
“Our answer is that there are no grey zones in the Aegean and that Greece’s sovereignty over its islands and maritime zones is given and indisputable,” he said.
This was the first time that the Turkish foreign ministry publicly made an unacceptable claim to having sovereignty over the Imia islets, he noted, while adding that this unacceptable provocation placed Turkey even further away from Europe.
“It is part of a strategy of continuous dispute and constant tension that Turkey has adopted in the Aegean and the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean. This policy has escalated dangerously in the last two years and especially the last months. Ankara is testing the political will, diplomatic reflexes and operational readiness of the country,” Koumoutsakos said.
The government was also partly to blame for the constant escalation of provocations from Ankara, according to Koumoutsakos, noting that “amateurism in foreign policy issues cannot be forgiven” and calling on the government to take all bilateral and international diplomatic action to support Greece’s rights and denounce Turkey’s actions.
“It must formulate an orchestrated international strategy to promote national positions. To begin at once, today, by simultaneously lodging a very strong demarche with the Turkish Ambassador in Athens and the Turkish foreign minister in Ankara. It must give instructions for the briefing of the foreign ministries of all countries and international organisations, wherever there are Greek diplomatic missions. And the prime minister must set aside the domestic propaganda about a so-called ‘clean exit’ and begin a diplomatic marathon, after first being informed that there are, in fact, sea borders,” Koumoutsakos added.