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Greece accuses Turkey of delaying foreign minister`s plane

Greece accuses Turkey of delaying foreign minister`s plane”

During his recent brief meeting with his Greek counterpart, the Turkish foreign minister had promised to propose a date for the 61st round of exploratory talks to be held in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to give Greece the "answer it deserves" over their energy dispute.

The European Union said it would review the possibility of sanctions on Turkey at a European summit in December.

The United States and Germany, both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of Greece and Turkey, have labelled the gas exploration mission a "provocation" and urged Ankara to recall the ship.

Those tensions had flared up over the summer, prompting a military buildup, bellicose rhetoric and fears of a confrontation between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and historic regional rivals. Those talks were last held in 2016. "In this context, the European Union must show the same consistency in the implementation of the decisions it has already taken, so that Turkey's behavior has the appropriate consequences", Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed on Thursday, as he arrived for the summit.

Heiko Maas, the foreign minister of Germany, which has been mediating between Athens and Ankara in a bid to east the tensions, criticized Turkey on Tuesday for taking "unilateral steps" in the eastern Mediterranean which he said were undercutting efforts to deescalate tensions.

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Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration in the region and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Turkey denied the accusation, saying the aircraft had taken off from Iraq without a flight plan but had been allowed to pass once one was procured.

According to the Turkish ministry, the plane that took Dendias to Iraq broke down there, and the Greek government then allocated a second plane, which took off without the required flight plan.

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Greece's foreign ministry had sent a demarche to Turkish authorities on the incident. "But I would like to remain on the fact that various explanations were given, also from the Turkish side, and we hope that this phenomenon and this incident is never repeated in the future".

"When the aircraft arrived in our airspace, the flight plan was urgently requested from the Iraqi authorities, and after receiving a response from them, the plane completed its flight safely", Aksoy added.



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