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02 December, 1998
The government yesterday dismissed as "groundless and unjustified" accusations leveled at Greece by Turkey regarding Athens' stance on the Kurdish problem and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.
"Turkey's accusations against Greece do not help the neighboring country, which remains trapped in its own foreign policy," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.
The Turkish foreign ministry this past week accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis over statements he made at a press conference last week regarding the Kurdish problem.
Ankara attacked the Greek premier's rejection of the Turkish claim that the Kurdish issue was a one-sided "terrorist" problem.
Mr. Reppas stressed that the Kurdish problem was primarily a political issue which Turkey should resolve by political means. He added that it was also a matter of concern to the European Union.
The spokesman said the Italian government's handling of the Ocalan issue had been very responsible, adding that "the Italians must be encouraged to help them find the correct solution".
Asked whether he believed Rome should grant asylum to Mr. Ocalan, Mr. Reppas said it was not possible to dictate to the Italian government what to do.
"If Italy decides to grant political asylum to the Kurdish leader, Greece will agree," he said.
Source: Athens News Agency