Erdogan reiterates no more high-level strategic council meeting with Greece

by IANS |

Ankara, June 18 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that his country would no longer hold the High-Level Strategic Council meetings with Greece.

"Unless I come across an honest politician, I will no longer be meeting them, and we have terminated our high-level strategic council meetings, and we will not hold the meeting with Greece," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

The President's comments came after a week of heated exchanges between the two countries regarding the status of the Aegean Sea and its islands.

Erdogan demanded last week that Greece respect previously-signed treaties and keep the Aegean islands demilitarised.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday that he wanted to keep an open channel of communication with Turkey.

The Aegean Sea region has been historically a hot dispute between Turkey and Greece.

Turkey accused Greece of arming previously-demilitarised islands and said Greece's ambitions to increase their maritime borders would effectively isolate western Turkey and the Black Sea from the Mediterranean.

Greece, meanwhile, argued that its militarization is legitimised by Turkish threats and accused Turkey of not respecting its rights to extend its territorial sea to 12 nautical miles.

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