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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-10

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign ministry on Turkish exercise in the Aegean

  • [01] Foreign ministry on Turkish exercise in the Aegean

    Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, referring on Wednesday to the ongoing Turkish search and rescue exercise in the Aegean, said that "the history of responsibility limits on search and rescue issues is old and known and the position of Greece is absolutely clear and is summed up in the statement the ministry made yesterday."

    The spokesman further said that international organisations are always informed on our position regarding the search and rescue issue and added that "the fact that our position is recorded and that the Turkish notam was declared invalid and void is the tactic, the position, the reaction that Greece has had all these years."

    Koumoutsakos also said that it is an issue which has been handled in this way steadfastly. Nothing has changed in the Greek position and there is nothing new.

    "When search and rescue operations are carried out in the region corresponding to the Athens FIR (Flight Information Region), control of this operation is in the hands of the Unified Search and Rescue Coordination Centre of Piraeus. This is reality. In shipping accidents, however, when a ship sends out an SOS signal the nearest ship must help informing, however, the country that has the responsibility to coordinate operations and this country is Greece," he said.

    Referring to the difference in interpretation given by Greece and Turkey to international agreements, the spokesman said "this is the situation. Greece has deviations on a series of issues with Turkey. Different interpretations. This is a reality with which we have been living for many decades now. At the same time, this cannot revoke the steadfast will of Greece for moves to be made to normalise relations. Greece has determined the framework for normalising relations with its policy to support the European course of Turkey in the sense, however, that there is an absolute acceptance and admission of commitments undertaken by the neighbour towards the European Union. There are issues which, while Greece has a special sensitivity, have become issues which have a European shade and a European character and have lost the purely bilateral character thay had in the past."

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