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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-24

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek PM: Aegean collision should make Turkey review its stance
  • [02] PASOK leader criticises gov't foreign policy

  • [01] Greek PM: Aegean collision should make Turkey review its stance

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Paris on Wednesday called on Turkey to "seriously reconsider" its attitude and actions, following Tuesday's collision between Greek and Turkish fighter jets above the Aegean. "Yesterday's incident should make the neighbouring country think seriously, so as to finally revise its stance, abandoning once and for all practices and behaviours that are not compatible with good neighbourly relations and which are factored into assessments of its European course," he stressed. The two aircraft collided in the air above the Aegean on Tuesday, about 15 miles south-southeast of the island of Karpathos, when the Greek Airforce plane engaged in manoeuvres to intercept a formation of Turkish planes that had entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) without submitting flight plans to Greek authorities.

    The pilot of the Turkish F-16 was rescued shortly afterward but a search-and-rescue operation has so far discovered only the helmet and survival kit of missing Greek pilot Constantine Iliakis, father of two.

    Stressing that the Greek government had taken all necessary steps in response to the incident, Karamanlis once again underlined that everything was taken into account in assessing Turkey's progress toward EU accession.

    He reiterated that statement when asked if Greece would consent to Turkey's continued EU progress in October if the neighbouring country continued its present tactics of frequent violations of Greek airspace and infringements of the Athens' Flight Information Region (FIR).

    "Greece defends its national interests and its sovereign rights," the Greek premier said, noting that Athens' handling of the incident on all levels demonstrated "the responsible and serious way that the government and Greek authorities handle sensitive foreign and defence policy issues".

    He also expressed his support for the family of the Greek Airforce pilot that is still missing and said that he had not contacted his Turkish counterpart since the accident.

    The Greek premier said that he had fully briefed French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin regarding the incident during a meeting earlier on Wednesday. Asked about his talks with Villepin over the Cyprus issue, meanwhile, Karamanlis said that he had ascertained a desire to resolve the problem and noted that the Cyprus government was determined to help.

    At the same time, he again emphasised the need to carefully prepare all initiatives for the Cyprus problem in order to avoid another failure and arrive at a viable solution.

    Karamanlis was in Paris to chair the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council that began here on Tuesday.

    (ANA-MPA photo of Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Paris on Wednesday)

    [02] PASOK leader criticises gov't foreign policy

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party leader George Papandreou on Wednesday criticised both the government and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis over the way with which they handled Tuesday's incident in the Aegean, involving a collision between a Greek and a Turkish fighter plane, while speaking at the inauguration of the party's new local offices in the Athens district of Ilion.

    Papandreou said that the government believed that with so-called personal relations it could carry out high policy in the Aegean, but it was shown to be wrong in a dramatic way.

    The PASOK party leader further said that the government's nudity in foreign policy appeared, adding that the Karamanlis government is moving without a plan, without initiatives, without strategy and without action and vigilance.

    He also reiterated that the policy of the Karamanlis government will lead to minor and major incidents and great tension and will even result in Greece backing down on basic issues.

    Referring to the missing Greek Air Force pilot, Papandreou said that he acted with heroism and self-sacrifice and all the Greeks owe a great deal to him, as they do to everyone in the armed forces.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader George Papandreou)


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