Panagiotopoulos: “Let Turkish DM Akar come swimming to Kastellorizo”

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos. Jordan

“Let Akar come swimming in Kastellorizo,” stressed Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos when commenting on what his Turkish counterpart recently provocatively uttered.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar continually claims that Greece’s Aegean Islands, the very same island that Ankara says belongs to Turkey, should be demilitarised as per agreements, despite this claim being debunked.

“We do not need to answer what he says, let him come – after he states it – swimming to Kastellorizo,” Panagiotopoulos said in reference to Akar’s claims.

He added that on the island of Akriti, “everyone has a high opinion and is ready.”

Regarding the exploratory contacts with Turkey, the minister noted that they will continue, while setting the time horizon for the next meeting on the “Confidence Building Measures” (MOU) to March 2022.

On the issue of compulsory vaccination in the Armed Forces, for those who have not yet been vaccinated, the Minister of Defense pointed out that “a solid sanctioning mechanism is required first before we go to compulsory.”

He added that an effort is being made to increase the percentages of vaccinated in the ranks and stated that the goal is to “cover as a priority the units that are on constant alert.”

For the construction of the three first phase frigates Belh @ rra, Panagiotopoulos said the Ministry of Defense requests the involvement of companies of the Greek defense industry in their shipbuilding process.

He noted that: “The French offer us the first two ships” in very fast time, “specifically by 2025”.

Panagiotopoulos stressed that “there is a special provision for the involvement of the interconnection of the defence industries of Greece-France in the defence agreement signed by the two countries”.

READ MORE: Biden signs significant defence spending bill including the USA- Greece Interparliamentary Partners Act.