Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Greece not to arm non-military islands

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey June 8, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

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ISTANBUL, June 9 (Reuters) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Greece should stop arming islands with non-military status and respect international agreements, in comments that could fuel renewed long-running tensions. date between the Aegean neighbors.

Last week he announced that Turkey was ending talks with Greece, in part because of a dispute with the Greek prime minister and what Ankara calls airspace violations.

After a five-year hiatus, the two NATO members resumed talks last year to settle disputes over the Mediterranean Sea and other bilateral issues. The talks made little progress and the countries frequently traded barbs.

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“I warn Greece to avoid dreams, deeds and statements that will cause regret. Come to your senses,” he said in a televised speech while watching Turkish military drills near Istanbul. Izmir, on the west coast of Turkey.

“Turkey will not give up its rights to the Aegean Sea and will not give up the use of rights established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands.”

The countries have long been at odds over issues such as maritime borders, overlapping claims to their continental shelves, airspace, migrants and the ethnic divide of Cyprus.

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Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

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Sharon P. Juarez