Foreign ministry calls on Turkey to contribute to results in exploratory talks

The Greek foreign ministry on Thursday called on Turkey to help achieve results during exploratory talks with Greece or else agree to take issues such as delineating the continental shelf to the International Court at the Hague.

Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras urged Turkey to cease provocative actions and present a specific result after the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

"Turkey has an obligation to prove its reliability, we have a government in Turkey that says it wants good relations with Greece. It must prove this through actions," he stressed.

Delavekouras said that positions presented by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu during negotiations for the Cyprus issue had a "backward" and "divisive" logic, which resulted in a lack of progress. The spokesman called on the Turkish-Cypriot negotiator and Turkey to change their stance on the Cyprus issue.

Asked about the case against Greece brought by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which is currently underway before the ICJ, Delavekouras said that Greece respects the process at the ICJ and is waiting for its decision. He said the Greek side had presented its arguments and given a "strong reply" to those presented by FYROM.

He also clarified that the trial underway at the Hague was not related to the negotiations over the name issue but Greece's refusal to allow FYROM's entry into NATO.

Asked about the Italian ship "Explora", Delavekouras said the ship had asked permission to enter an area under Greek jurisdiction and received it. He stressed that Turkey had harassed the ship in violation of international law. Both these actions and those that followed were illegal, invalid and did not generate any legitimate result nor cast doubt on Greek sovereign rights, the spokesman underlined.

The ship, contrary to assurances provided by Italy, had also asked permission from Turkey and this led to a Greek demarche to the Italian ambassador, which the Greek permission to the ship was immediately rescinded. Greece fully established its sovereign rights, in spite of Turkey's actions, Delavekouras added.

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