Athens on Thursday denied claims by a former Turkish diplomat of an agreement between the two countries on Greek territorial waters.
Greek foreign minister Stavros Lambrinidis passed off as "rehashing" allegations contained in a book by former Turkish foreign ministry expert Deniz Bolukbasi, who claims that Greece had agreed that it would refrain from extending its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in certain areas of the Aegean Sea, during current prime minister George Papandreou's term as foreign minister.
Lambrinidis, replying to a press question, said that no Greek government has made such an agreement, and stressed that Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters whenever it sees fit.
The minister further noted that the subject of the exploratory talks with Turkey is to seek a solution to the Aegean continental shelf issue, adding that Athens respects the confidentiality of the talks and favors recourse to the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the event a solution is not found.
Lambrinidis stressed that he will not accept anyone doubting the patriotism of any Greek political party or politician, and called on the parties to stand united "as a tight fist" on such matters.
Greece's defence minister Panos Beglitis, speaking on private radio, categorically denied Bolukbasi's claims that such an agreement had been made during Papandreou's term in the foreign ministry.
Beglitis, who was foreign ministry spokesman at the time and was taking part in the exploratory talks, said that discussions were held, but no agreement was made, given that Athens' sole aim was to safeguard international law and Greece's sovereign rights.