SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras says raising tensions is of no use to Greeks or Turks

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As tensions continue to grow between Greece and Turkey over the demilitarisation of the Aegean islands, main opposition leader, Alexis Tsipras, has weighed in on the topic.

During a visit to the Greek islands of Rhodes and Symi in the eastern Aegean on Wednesday, Tsipras criticised Ankara’s recent provocative statements on Greece.

“Heightening the rhetoric and tension and casting doubt on international treaties is ineffective and benefits no one,” Tsipras said.

“Whatever happens, the Greek people and Greece will defend their sovereignty and sovereign rights, and in this all Greeks are united.”

READ MORE: Greece rejects Turkey’s calls to demilitarise Aegean islands.

The head of the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance added that the only point of contention between Greece and Turkey concerns the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone, “which must be resolved on the basis of International Law at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

SYRIZA leader Tsipras visits Rhodes, Wednesday June, 8, 2022. Photo: SYRIZA Press Office / EUROKINISSI.

This statement comes as both the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, and Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, also issued statements condemning Turkey.

After a meeting with Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu in Pristina, Dendias reiterated his call on Turkey to decrease tensions with Greece by “avoiding provocative expressions and statements” to maintain peace in bilateral relations.

READ MORE: Greece sends letter to UN as Turkey reiterates demand to demilitarise Aegean islands.

According to Ekathimerini, Sakellaropoulou’s statement came during an official visit to Lithuania at the invitation of President Gitanas Nauseda.

During a joint press conference with her Lithuanian counterpart, Sakellaropoulou stressed that Greece acts in accordance with the principles of international law, but it “will not stop defending its sovereignty and rights, taking all necessary deterrent measures for its security, but also for peace in our wider region.”

These latest statements represent a new escalation in tensions between the NATO allies.

They come just one month after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he would stop talking to Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, voicing displeasure at comments the Greek leader made during a recent US trip where he implored Congress to block Turkey’s acquisition of F-16 fighter jets.

READ MORE: Turkish President Erdogan vows to never speak with Greek Prime Minister again

Source: Ekathimerini.

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