Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias appeared clear that “the country’s borders are guarded and will be totally defended,” speaking to THEMA 104.6 radio on Wednesday, noting that “it is obvious that there have been statements by the Turkish side that understandably caused concern in our country.”
Regarding the alleged occupation of Greek territory in Evros, he stressed that “the whole matter was initiated by the far right”, adding that in the Parliamentary session on Tuesday “I analysed why my statements were made correctly and with the right choice of words and tone”.
Commenting on the overall Greek-Turkish relations, he said that they were “warm and cold” as they went from escalation to de-escalation.
“Greece wants de-escalation and to extend a hand of friendship within the framework of international law. As long as Turkey wants to meet us in this context, Greece is willing. There are days when the situation escalates and there are days when Turkish officials say unacceptable things.”
He noted that “Greece has always acted within the framework of international law and human rights. The one who violates them in a barbaric way is Turkey, which expels immigrants at the border. This is unfortunate for these people,” he added. “Unfortunately, we have statements from Turkish officials that when the coronavirus crisis is over, migrants will not be prevented from reaching the border.”
He concluded by noting that Turkey’s presence in Libya and regions such as Somalia and Qatar was not a wise move in the country’s efforts to revive a Neo-Ottoman policy.