Petsas: An alliance cannot be indifferent when one member is openly violating international law

The prime minister will refer to Turkish provocations during the NATO Summit in London and will will ask the Alliance to adopt a position, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday during a press briefing.

“An alliance cannot be indifferent when one member is openly violating international law and thus turning against another member. An equal-distances approach is unfair to Greece, which has never sought to stoke tensions in our region,” Petsas said, reiterating the prime minister’s statement.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already indicated that Greece “knows how to defend its rights with confidence, calmness and efficiency,” he added.

In this context, Mitsotakis will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit, at the request of the Turkish side.

Petsas said that the prime minister will raise all these issues when he meets Erdogan, pointing out that it is in Turkey’s interests to desist from provocative actions. “Turkey’s attitude leads to its diplomatic isolation,” he stressed.

“As far as the essence of the matter is concerned, our position is clear: Turkey’s attempt to abolish island maritime zones – such as Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastelorizo – with tricks such as invalid bilateral memoranda, does not produce internationally legal effects. It cannot undermine the sovereign rights of our islands, which are established under international law and, in particular, under the law of the sea,” he stated.

Petsas also referred to initiatives taken by the prime minister in his contacts with other European leaders, including at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid, and his calls for EU support against Turkey’s actions.

Meanwhile, he said that a positive conclusion of the fourth enhanced surveillance report on the Greek economy is expected at the Eurogroup on Wednesday. “We are expecting to get a green light for the disbursement of the central banks’ profits from Greek bonds (ANFA’s και SMP’s),” he said, noting that the Greek government has already asked to divert this money to actions designed to promote growth, which is interests of both Greece and its creditors.