BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 P.M.) – Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panayotopoulos said in a television interview that his country is ready for everything in order to protect its sovereign rights, including military action against Turkey in the event of provocations.
He pointed out that his ministry notes the increasing Turkish provocations in recent times.
He claimed that “Turkey’s behavior has been very aggressive in the recent period. I think our only way to deal with this behavior, which generally tends to be aggressive, is to use all diplomatic weapons, as well as to ensure an increase in the capacity of our army to deter.”
When asked if Greece was ready for a military solution to the dispute with Turkey, as the Greek Prime Minister’s advisor said, Panayotopoulos replied: “Exactly so.”
“The chancellor said that we are preparing for any situation. Of course, everything is possible, including military action. We do not want that, but we want to make it clear that we will do our best to protect our sovereign rights as possible,” the minister added.
A few days ago, the Turkish government newspaper published a request for a Turkish state oil company to obtain a license to explore for oil and gas in an area near the Greek islands.
Then, on June 3, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent a letter to the European Union leadership on “Turkish provocations”. Greece announced that all of this would lead to a Turkish-European crisis.
Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in a joint press conference with Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj in Ankara that Turkey intends, together with the Libyan government, to explore and develop oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean.