Turkey, Europe

'Greece has no intention of entering into an arms race with Turkey'

Cooperation with Ankara is possible on common issues such as climate crisis, refugee issue, says Greek premier

Derya Gülnaz Özcan, Tevfik Durul   | 28.09.2021
'Greece has no intention of entering into an arms race with Turkey' Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ( Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency )

ATHENS 

Greece’s prime minister said Monday that he has no intention to enter into an arms race with Turkey. 

In an exclusive interview with Greece’s state-run broadcaster ERT, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is in Paris for a two-day official visit, said: "I had predicted in the spring that we would have a quiet summer. I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a quiet autumn and a quiet winter. I believe that Turkey understands that the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will ultimately not benefit anyone."

Stating that cooperation can be reached with Turkey on common issues such as the climate crisis and the refugee problem, Mitsotakis underlined that economic cooperation is possible as part of good neighborly relations and respect.

He said the only way to solve the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea is international law.

"I will tell you frankly: Agreements can be reached that require a mutual stepping back on some issues so that we can ultimately achieve solutions that benefit everyone."

He also emphasized the need for the modernization of the Greek Army.

“I am not in the mood for an arms race with Turkey.” It is not my intention,” he said. “Because, you know, these are decisions for arms programs that have a long horizon. I will hand over a more powerful armed forces to my successor.”

Mitsotakis claimed that decisions taken by the European Council regarding the Eastern Mediterranean have brought the framework of relations in the Eastern Mediterranean into the European prism and that Turkish-Greek relations have turned into Turkey-EU relations.

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