Delavekouras: New Turkish gov't must show sincere desire for good neighbour relations

Commenting on upcoming general elections in neighbouring Turkey, foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Wednesday relayed Athens' hope that the new government that arose would give new impetus to Turkey's European prospects and end an apparent "contradiction" within Turkish policy and behaviour. "While appearing to desire an improvement in relations, [Turkey] nevertheless continues its delinquent behaviour," Delavekouras pointed out.

He noted that Athens hopes that the new Turkish government will "show that it sincerely desires good neighbour relations" while stressing that the Greek side was always speaking "within the framework of international law and protecting our country's national rights".

Delavekouras again condemned Turkey's threat to declare war if Greece should exercise its right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, saying it was inconceivable for an EU member-state to be threatened with war. He also noted that the attempt to improve bilateral relations with Turkey was a choice made by Greece that had not been given up in any way. He stressed also that the Greek-Turkish cooperation promoted was a "reality" that had already yielded results that were to the benefit of both sides.

Concerning Cyprus, however, the spokesman expressed grave concern over the "backward-looking" positions promoted by Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and noted that the Turkish side, since it was in control of the occupied territories on Cyprus, was also responsible for the problems that arose in the talks for a solution.

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