Ankara chides Greek foreign minister for remarks targeting Turkey

Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas (R) and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) address journalists during a press conference after their meeting in Athens on Feb. 16, 2012. (Photo: EPA)

February 19, 2012, Sunday/ 17:15:00

The Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized on Sunday recent remarks by Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas criticizing Turkey in presence of NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who visited both countries last week on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of their membership in the 27-nation alliance.

“It is known by the Greek authorities and all parties concerned that we are paying special attention to ensuring that our relations with Greece are conducted on the basis of a positive agenda. While it is expected that celebration of the 60th anniversary of our countries’ simultaneous accession to NATO should strengthen this positive agenda, the fact that Greek authorities resort to such accusations and claims is in contradiction with the spirit of alliance and does not bode well with a positive agenda in our relations,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

The statement did not specify the accusations. According to a Turkish media report, Dimas said during a joint news conference with Rasmussen in Athens that Turkey “sabotages” NATO by its “provocations aimed against Greece and Cyprus.”

“We are witnessing acts of provocations that sabotage alliance ties,” Dimas was quoted as saying by private Cihan news agency.

The Foreign Ministry said problems with Greece are surmountable and that Turkey will continue to work for resolution of these problems. But it said multilateral platforms of cooperation, such as NATO, should not be used as venues to address these problems.

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