Defence Minister Panos Beglitis on Friday sent a strong message to Turkey stressing in parliament that Athens regards as “unacceptable and illegal any action carried out unilaterally by the neighboring country which challenges the national sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and Greece.”
 
Beglitis underlined that Turkey’s “continuous violations are being watched in close cooperation with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias” and “provocations will not be left unanswered”.
 
Responding to a current question by opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on the foreign and defence policy followed in Eastern Mediterranean, Beglitis stressed that “the continuous provocations by Turkey, the infringements of air traffic regulations, the violations of national airspace, are being watched very closely with the appropriate calm and determination. However, we also sent the necessary messages showing our determination that the provocations will not go unanswered.”
 
He repeated that “we are not turning against Turkey, we want our relations to improve and the problems with the neighboring country to be solved but this will take place based on International Law and not on its unilateral viewpoints as regards relations with Greece.”     
 
“We have never said that we are implementing a policy of encirclement. We wish to contribute to the consolidation of stability, peace, prosperity, and growth in the greater region, forging relations on equal par with Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, the Arab countries, the Palestinian people and in the future with a new democratic Palestinian state,” he said.
 
He clarified that “we will not stand speechless before a Turkish policy that seeks to monopolize the greater SE Mediterranean region with its presence in an unacceptably unilateral manner.”
 
“Greece, despite the economic and social crisis it is experiencing, can defend its national sovereign rights and serve its interests. It can guarantee the interests of Cyprus,” he underlined, adding that “this is our goal”.
 
Beglitis stressed that “a firm, strategic partnership relation with Israel on all levels is in the interests of Greece and will serve stability.”
 
Referring to the Palestinian issue, the minister of defence clarified that Greece is “in favour of a viable, democratic Palestinian state, inside secure borders, existing peacefully and safely next to a democratic and safe state of Israel, within the 1967 borders, having East Jerusalem as its capital.”