© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
26 May, 1998
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday chaired a high-level government meeting to review foreign and defense policy.
The meeting was attended by National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Foreign Deputy Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis. Asked after the meeting whether the issue of Greece and Turkey agreeing to confidence-building measures (CBMs) in the Aegean had been discussed, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas replied:
"Turkey must abandon the role of regional strongman which it has reserved for itself in order to attain its aims because this role is bringing it only constant disappointment."
Mr. Reppas called on Turkey to change its policy and agree to the framework set out by the European Union "which, unfortunately, Ankara has not accepted".
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis said later that Turkey, since 1973, had been gradually developing a specific aggressive strategy against Greece.
"Despite moderate moves by Greece from time to time, Turkey has been adopting an increasingly tougher stance, gradually raising its claims from the sea area, to air space and more recently to territorial claims in the Aegean against Greece's sovereign rights," Mr. Kaklamanis said.
He was speaking to reporters after briefing US Sen. Paul Sarbanes on the entire spectrum of Greek-Turkish relations. US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns was also present at the meeting.
"This aggression on the part of Turkey is continuing despite Greece's constructive stance on a number of issues, including our lifting of the veto on Turkey's customs agreement with the European Union..." Mr. Kaklamanis said.
Source: Athens News Agency