EUROPE

Greece violates int'l law by arming demilitarized islands: DefMin

News Service AA, Yeni Şafak

Greece violates international law and treaties by arming Aegean islands that are under demilitarized status, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.

He also urged his Greek counterpart to take necessary measures as part of sincere and constructive bilateral relations.

The Turkish minister also stated that Athens "should end its violations that are contrary to treaties and incompatible with friendship and good neighborly relations.”

"The demilitarized status of these islands should be protected and continued."

He underlined that Turkey is in favor to solve problems in the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea and the disputed island of Cyprus by peaceful means as Ankara is always respectful to international treaties.

"We are in favor of good neighborly relations. We expect all our neighbors to behave in the same way."

Akar urged his Greek counterpart to take necessary measures "on this and other issues under the framework of sincere, constructive and good" bilateral relations.

He also reiterated Turkey's determined stance to protect its rights and interest.

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996.

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