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28 August, 1998
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday dismissed statements made on Wednesday by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, who openly disputed Greek sovereignty of 132 islets in the Aegean.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos called the Turkish president's comments "repetitions without substance".
He was speaking to reporters after a half-hour meeting with several visiting US Congressmen and the chairman of Congress' Greek-American Friendship Committee, US Rep. Michael Bilirakis.
The Greek minister added that there was "nothing to negotiate" in the Aegean, while international law and international conditions "clearly set out the status quo in the Aegean".
Mr. Demirel said in an interview with the Turkish daily "Hurriyet", published Wednesday, that "there are 132 rocky outcroppings or islets in the Aegean, which belong to us".
On his part, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas replied on the same day by describing Turkish foreign policy and the Demirel statement as "fossils from the past".
Source: Athens News Agency