Turk­ish warn­ings dur­ing Pavlopou­los flights

He­li­copters car­ry­ing pres­i­dent, de­fence min­is­ter and armed forces chief suf­fer ra­dio in­ter­fer­ence

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The mil­i­tary he­li­copters trans­port­ing Greek Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los on his tour of Aegean is­lands yes­ter­day suf­fered ra­dio in­ter­fer­ence from Turkey.

Ac­cord­ing to Greek mil­i­tary sources, the pi­lots fly­ing the Chi­nook and Huey he­li­copters re­ceived mes­sages from the Turk­ish armed forces that they were fly­ing in a demil­i­ta­rized zone where such flights are for­bid­den. As is cus­tom­ary in such cases, the Greek pi­lots did not re­spond to the call­ings from the Turk­ish side.

Such in­ter­fer­ence is not rare but it is be­lieved that yes­ter­day’s mes­sages were an in­di­rect re­sponse to Pavlopou­los’s re­cent com­ments about Turkey.

Apart from Pavlopou­los, who has been highly crit­i­cal of Ankara in the wake of the re­cent col­lapse of the Cyprus re­uni­fi­ca­tion talks, the he­li­copters were also car­ry­ing De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos and the Chief of the Hel­lenic Na­tional De­fence Gen­eral Staff Evan­ge­los Apos­to­lakis.

The group trav­eled yes­ter­day from Rhodes to Symi, Agath­on­isi, Far­makon­isi and Chios. Pavlopou­los is due to visit to­day the islet of Panaghia, Lem­nos and Aghios Ef­s­tra­tios.

Dur­ing the speeches he gave yes­ter­day to mem­bers of the na­tional guard on the is­lands he vis­ited, Pavlopou­los said that Greece is ready to sup­port Turkey’s ef­forts to join the Euro­pean Union as long as Ankara re­spects in­ter­na­tional law. He also made ref­er­ences to the treaties of Lau­sanne and Paris, which es­tab­lished Greek sovereignty over nu­mer­ous Aegean is­lands. He said these two agree­ments leave no doubts about Greece’s bor­ders, dis­miss­ing any sug­ges­tion from Turkey that there are so-called “gray zones” in the Aegean.

For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias was in Ni­cosia yes­ter­day for a meet­ing of the Cypriot Na­tional Coun­cil, which was chaired by Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades. The pur­pose of the dis­cus­sion was to de­cide on the next steps that should be taken after the col­lapse of re­uni­fi­ca­tion talks in the Swiss re­sort of Crans-Mon­tana. Athens and Ni­cosia have a pos­i­tive view of the po­si­tion taken by the United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res, who is in fa­vor of scrap­ping in­ter­ven­tion rights and the sys­tem of guar­an­tees.

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