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10 September, 1998
National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' concerns over the nature of a Turkey-Israel military cooperation was the highlight of a report from Athens, published in yesterday's issue of the German newspaper "Suddeutche Zeitung".
The report quotes Mr. Tsohatzopoulos as saying that Ankara and Jerusalem's "axis policy" was "worrying" to Greece, and further underlining the necessity to set up a regional security system with participation of all eastern Mediterranean countries.
"We have nothing against Turkey-Israel economic relations, despite the fact that these include the supply of armaments", the defense minister told the paper, adding however that, "when Israel's advanced technology is made available to Turkey, with Ankara's objective being to use it aggressively, then this goes beyond the limits".
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos specifically denounced the fact that Israeli fighter jets together with Turkish warplanes have repeatedly flown above Cyprus, "showing that they ignore international law".
In his conversation with the paper's Athens correspondent, the Greek defense minister challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that his country's cooperation with Turkey was of no trouble to the region.
For this reason, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, he had invited his Israeli counterpart Yitsak Mordehai to visit Athens in November for talks.
"Unilateral commitments give rise to problems", he added.
Source: Athens News Agency