Mitsotakis responds to Erdogan's sharp remarks
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis commented on the claim by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he did not keep his word regarding what was agreed in their meeting in Istanbul earlier this year.
Erdogan said on 23 May:
"There is no one named Mitsotakis for me anymore. I will not agree to meet with him in any condition, because we meet with honorable politicians who keep their word."
In an interview with Skai TV on Friday, Mitsotakis said that he told Erdogan he would "not accept overflights over the Greek islands, nor the argument that links Greek sovereignty over the east Aegean islands with their alleged militarization."
"If Mr Erdogan did not understand what I told him, I am not responsible for that," Mitsotakis added.
Erdogan also criticized Mitsotakis over the speech he gave to the US Congress when he brought up Turkey’s aggressive stance.
Mitsotakis said he will continue to raise the issue.
"I gave a speech which had very little reference to the issues of the Eastern Mediterranean, but these issues were obviously raised at the bilateral level. I raised them and I will continue to raise them, as I raise them at the level of the European Union," he said.
Regarding the sale of weapons systems from the US to Turkey, he noted that Greece cannot block it indefinitely.
What Greece has succeeded in doing, he stressed, is to explain to the US Congress in particular that the "sale of weapons systems to a NATO member country which is currently a source of instability in the southeastern flank of NATO and which openly challenges the sovereignty of another NATO member country is not in the interest of the United States itself."
Mitsotakis also noted in contrast to several comments in the media that it is not in Greece’s interest to have a Turkey that is completely isolated.