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23 October, 1997
Greece will in no case accept NATO decisions which will encroach upon our sovereign rights, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in Parliament yesterday in response to a tabled question by PASOK deputy Anastasios Peponis and after press reports alleging est ablishment of new NATO headquarters in Larisa and Izmir without specific areas of responsibility.
The prime minister said NATO was planning more flexible tactics in view of the prospective enlargement, stressing that certain general orientations and the form of the new regional headquarters were under discussion and that certain informal decisions h ad been reached.
He was categorical that no decisions would be approved without Greece's agreement, and that in no way would the new NATO structure encroach upon the sovereign rights of member-states.
"We shall have a view and it will not be possible for the command or direction of operations to be given to a Turkish commander," he said.
"The peculiarities of each country, and particularly in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean due to Turkey's tactics, must be taken into account," he added.
He explained that NATO's new military structure will not have the form of the previous one. There will be new regional headquarters which will operate according to the wishes of the member-states.
"In no case are we prepared to let the Turks control, intervene and determine matters," he added.
Source: Athens News Agency