Dendias: Parties to stop using issues of national interest for petty politics

Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias rejected media and party reports that Turkish forces had taken over 1.6 hectares of Greek territory at the Evros borders, telling Skai TV on Sunday that national interests should not become fodder for party politics.

Dendias said that a British newspaper had initially made “this absolutely false claim” which was adopted by a far-right party, then the claim was “taken further by Syriza in a so-called question to me.”

Asked to explain what happened, the Foreign minister said that “Greece began preparatory works – measurements, in reality – to build an extension of the Evros border fence. Turkey demanded through a note to be informed of this fence’s construction coordinates, and Greece responded negatively, as it ought to. We told the Turks the fence is being contructed on Greek territory and therefore we have no reason to inform it of anything. Turkey followed up with activity towards a point where preparatory work had been compeleted for the fence, and following this the (Greek) Foreign ministry sent a note to the Turkish ambasador in Athens demanding that any such activity cease.”

“Through time, no Greek government allowed the loss of Greek territory,” he said, adding that “no government has the constitutional right to concede even a square centimeter of territory.”

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Earlier on Sunday, diplomatic sources reiterated that the borderline between the two countries has been set based on the Lausanne Treaty and Protocol of 1926, is recognised as such, and there is no contestation of this.

In a message on Saturday, the Greek National Defense Ministry also rejected the media claim, saying that a territorial takeover by foreign powers never happened.

On Sunday, Movement for Change (KINAL) MP Andreas Loverdos, responsible for the party’s foreign affairs and its parliamentary spokesperson, said KINAL was concerned over developments in the area and called on the government to provide a briefing on the incident before the parliament’s Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs meets on Tuesday behind closed doors.