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Greece’s Aegean islands: Key issue at Turkey’s National Security Council

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Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) has called on countries supporting Greece’s actions in the Aegean Sea to “adopt common sense,” according to Ekathimerini.

A statement by the MGK said the meeting, which was chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, focused on a range of issues including the standoff with Greece, counterterrorism efforts, Azerbaijan-Armenia tensions and more.

With regards to Greece, the statement said the MGK urged “the circles encouraging Greece to deploy arms on islands with demilitarised status… to adopt common sense.”

Turkey’s National Security Council. Photo: Turkey’s National Security Council website.

The meeting also called on the US to reverse its decision earlier this month to lift the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration.

The MGK said this decision “contradicts the spirit of the (NATO) alliance.”

In response to this meeting, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement which said Greece will defend its legal interests and rights if the need arises.

“Turkey has every right to defend its interests by all legal means, subject to the basic condition that it accepts the rules of International Law,” the statement reads.

“However, it has no right to flagrantly violate International Law and threaten Greece with war (casus belli).”

This meeting comes at a low point in relations between the two neighbours, who are separated by centuries-long enmity and contemporary disputes, including Aegean Sea boundaries and immigration.

READ MORE: Greek Prime Minister doesn’t believe armed conflict with Turkey ‘will ever happen’.

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