Varvitsiotis: Greece will not demilitarise its islands simply because Turkey wants this


Greece wants to engage in dialogue with Turkey but is not prepared to make concessions concerning its national sovereignty, nor will it demilitarise its islands simply because Turkey wants this, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said on SKAI television on Friday.

"This dialogue must, of course, take place with rules, which are none other than respect for international law and the Law of the Sea. We will not have a dialogue as Turkey would like, putting issues on the agenda that no sovereign state can accept under any circumstances," he added.

He noted that Greece was now better prepared than ever, having increased the level of readiness of its armed forces, which was provoking Turkey's reaction. He emphasised that Greece would not back down in its armaments programmes or its international alliances, nor would it demilitarise its islands simply because Turkey wants this. According to Varvitsiotis, the upgrading of the Alexandroupolis port and the stronger U.S. presence there was particularly irksome to Turkey's president.

He also commented on the visit to Athens by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, saying the aim was to highlight the good level of bilateral relations with Germany, while he noted a change of stance on the German side following a meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with the German side now adopting the Greek positions concerning the resolution of differences.