Greek Defense Minister says Athens ready for military conflict with Turkey
Athens, June 5 (Sputnik) – Greek Minister for National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos said that his country was ready for a military conflict with Turkey to defend its sovereign rights against the backdrop of Turkey’s provocations related to planned shelf exploration.
On Monday, Athens condemned Turkish Petroleum Corporation’s intention to receive operation rights in areas considered by Greece to be a part of its continental shelf, as another attempt to usurp the country’s sovereign rights. It noted that the move had followed the signing of the controversial deal on maritime boundaries between Ankara and Libya’s Tripoli-based government. The same day, the Greek Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to lodge a protest. On Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent letters to the EU leadership in light of Turkey’s provocation.
“Turkey’s behavior has been quite aggressive recently. I believe that the only way for Greece to deal with such a behavior, which generally tends to be an aggression, is, on the one hand, to use all its diplomatic means, and on the other hand, to ensure the strengthening of the armed forces’ deterrent force,” the minister told Greece’s Star TV channel on Thursday.
Answering a question on whether Greece was ready to engage in a military conflict with Turkey, Panagiotopoulos responded affirmatively, noting at the same time that it was not a desirable solution.