The Greek islands are once again in the sights of the Turkish foreign minister

Hakan Fidan Turkish

"My counterpart and I are looking for ways how we can discuss the problem from a new angle," the Turkish foreign minister said on Sunday in an interview with A Haber.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan brings back the topic of the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean in an interview.

"There are issues that are time-consuming, such as the status of the Aegean islands, demilitarisation and airspace", he said, adding: "With my counterpart, we are looking for ways how we can discuss the problem from a new perspective."

The Turkish Foreign Minister noted: "After the victory of our president in the elections, a decision was made with Mr Mitsotakis to move our relations forward with a positive agenda."

"There are problems in the Aegean which come from the past. Everything is not of our generation; we received these. How can we, as a responsible generation, manage? As mature states, let's put these problems in parentheses and see which issues we can move forward on. We saw this as a method," Fidan continued.

"On the other hand, there are issues between us that take time. Mainly the status of the Aegean islands, demilitarisation, and airspace; here, we are looking to discuss the problem from a new perspective. We have this effort; this is what my counterpart and I often talk about. There is an agreement by both sides to reduce military tension," he said.

"Cyprus is a big issue. We try not to let this issue reflect the relations between us, and we look at the issues of the Aegean and the situation of our expatriates," the Turkish foreign minister claimed.

Fidan: We need to see how the balance changes with the concession of F-35s to Greece after 2030

"We are developing anti-aircraft systems. If they put conditions on us for the F-35s, we will continue to look for alternatives," Fidan said.

Fidan said: "The issue of granting F-35s to Greece, as you know, because Greece is a member of NATO, was already among the countries that were on the list of granting F-35s.

With the Delivery of F-35s to Greece by 2030, Fidan said: "We have to watch what can happen until then and how the balances will change. But we have to see how we will develop our capabilities in air defence systems and our capabilities in fighters."

"Here now, there is the development of the Hisar anti-aircraft system. The ground-based anti-aircraft system. Because until today, our anti-aircraft defence was the F-16s, that is, in an attack, the answer was the F-16s".

Reporter's Question: What do you think about our return to the F-35 program?

Fidan: “This is a matter for our experts and military to talk about. However, this is a possibility, and if we do not lose our other possibilities and if it is an additional possibility, of course, why should it not happen? It will be something we will want to own. But if there are conditions to part with other possibilities and to adapt to other policies, and if the conditions are compatible, then we will continue to look for alternative solutions."

Greek diplomatic sources comment on Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan's statements on Greek-Turkish relations

"The fact that we are trying to improve our relations does not mean that there are not serious differences of opinion on certain issues," commented Greek diplomatic sources.

"We emphasise issues of mutual benefit, but we do not compromise our core positions. This is exactly what is reflected in the declaration of Athens," the sources added.

READ MORE: Mitsotakis: I will visit Ankara in May – Ensure that US weapons are not turned against NATO forces.

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