Deputy Minister of Defence, General Alkiviadis Stefanis spoke on Open TV's main news bulletin yesterday and was asked about the statements made by the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar who simultaneously threatened Greece while also asking for dialogue.
"There are different levels and different ways of dealing with it. Mr. Akar chooses this way. On the one hand he threatens us and on the other he calls for us to talk," Stefanis said. "We are ready to discuss. After all, we are discussing at different levels, but at the same time we are doing our job and doing it right."
"You see exactly what is happening in the European Union, you see our interventions in NATO, you see our bilateral relations. An entire organisation, such as the government, is trying to inform about national positions at all levels and at the same time to be prepared at all levels for every eventuality," the Deputy Defence Minister stressed.
When asked if he believes that the possibility of a hot episode could eventuate, Stefanis emphasised that "We are not afraid of anything, because we are aware of our potential, whose training we are doing and why we are examining multiple scenarios every day. You've seen one of these evolve over the last two days. Without any warning, the head of the Greek military was ordered to implement a plan and it was implemented in the best way," he said, referring to the aeronautical exercise that took place for the first time in a sea area of the illegal Turkish-Libyan Muslim Brotherhood memorandum.
"The preparation is different at different levels. Each power pillar in the country has a different mission. Ours has two areas: defence diplomacy, which we saw evolving when we briefed the High Representative on what is happening in Evros and the Ministry of National Defence, and that of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces and the Ministry of National Defence have shown the potential of Greece. We presented an opportunity. Everyday the Armed Forces are trained in various scenarios and various threats are implemented. So here we have shown that this possibility also exists."
Stefanis referred to the different levels of messages that each exercise sends, saying that one is internal and concerns self-confidence and training, and that the second message is to the Greek people that the Armed Forces are strong, while the third is to outsiders.
"We tell them, look what opportunities we have. Our potential is enormous and very strong. We know what we are doing and we are doing it well. The Armed Forces have a very big secret: passion and love for the homeland is the way they carry out their mission," he said.