FM on Turkey, Libya

Full respect of International Law and Greece's sovereign rights and territorial integrity is the "absolute framework" of Greece's talks, with which Turkey must abide, Greek foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas said on state television on Monday, stressing at the same time that Greece is devoted to a genuine effort for rapprochement between the two countries.

Responding to questions on Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu's recent visit to Greece, Droutsas said that "we see a Turkish leadership that appears to be more open, in relation to the past, and it is our obligation to make use of every window of opportunity".

Droutsas criticised Turkish activity in the Aegean, however, noting that the infringements of the Athens FIR and violation of Greek national airspace were continuing, as were overflights by Turkish military jets over the Greek islands, while there was also "increased mobility by the Turkish navy in the Aegean.

On Davutoglu's recent statements reiterating the Turkish position for an "exchange" with Turkey's lifting its casus belli towards Greece for Greece's waiver of its right to extend its territorial waters, Droutsas stressed that "these are inconceivable things" and "not comparable", adding that one side cannot ask of the other side to waive a right that emanates from international law.

On Libya, Droutsas stressed that Greece took a position against violence from the outset, and has been a leader in humanitarian missions. Regarding Athens' policy on the Gaddafi regime, the foreign minister said it is important that the EU express itself with one voice, and that any decision by the international community should have the legitimisation of the UN Security Council.


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