Greece’s Defence Minister Panos Kammenos on Monday denounced the Turkish President’s derogatory reference to Greeks as "pirates of the Mediterranean" saying that “Greece respects international law, protects its national sovereignty and seeks the co-existence of all based on international rules; it does not provoke but nor does it retreat a single step from its rights as laid out by treaties and international law".
"The Greeks are the only ones down the centuries who have not been pirates. Greece always upholds international law and the decisions and the pirates are judged by the UN Security Council when they hold areas they have invaded illegally. All of the Alliance, through the NATO operation in the Aegean (for the refugees), knows who it is in the Alliance is violating national territorial waters and national airspace," he said.
The Minister urged all sides to focus on the prosperity of the peoples, noting that this will come about when every country, with respect for international law, is able to exploit the wealth that it possesses. This was especially true at a time when the region was becoming the Mediterranean's energy hub, either through the exploitation of deposits or through its connection with the energy routes that will be Europe's future, he added.