Greece accuses Turkey of ‘imperialist fantasies’

Greece accuses Turkey of ‘imperialist fantasies’
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis after a trilateral summit, at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Oct. 21, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 21 October 2020

Greece accuses Turkey of ‘imperialist fantasies’

Greece accuses Turkey of ‘imperialist fantasies’
  • Mitsotakis said Turkey had been entertaining ‘imperialist fantasies with aggressive actions from Syria to Libya, from Somalia to Cyprus and the Aegean to the Caucasus’
  • The three leaders ‘condemned Turkey’s actions in Varosha’ in violation of UN Security Council resolutions on the former Cyprus seaside resort

NICOSIA: Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Turkey of “imperialist fantasies” in the eastern Mediterranean during a meeting on Wednesday with the leaders of Cyprus and Egypt.
Mitsotakis said Turkey had been using “extreme rhetoric” and taking unilateral actions while ignoring international order as well as appeals for dialogue from the European Union, Russia and the United States.
The Greek leader said Turkey had been entertaining “imperialist fantasies with aggressive actions from Syria to Libya, from Somalia to Cyprus and the Aegean to the Caucasus.”
Mitsotakis made the remarks at a trilateral meeting in Nicosia with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
In a joint statement, the three leaders “condemned Turkey’s actions in Varosha” in violation of UN Security Council resolutions on the former Cyprus seaside resort.
The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus earlier this month reopened Varosha, which Greek Cyriot residents abandoned during the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island’s northern third in 1974.
Cyprus, Egypt and Greece also denounced Turkey’s “unilateral provocations” over energy exploration in disputed waters of the eastern Mediterranean and its role in war-torn Libya and Syria.
Mitsotakis said such actions involved “drawing arbitrary maps or signing invalid memoranda” as in the case of Libya.
The three countries hold regular summits as part of their closer energy cooperation as they seek to create a regional energy hub, along with Israel, supplying gas to Europe.
“Our meeting today takes place at a particularly difficult time for the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean,” Anastasiades told reporters.
“Turkey is constantly escalating tensions and undermining regional stability... Turkey is violating the sovereign rights of Cyprus and Greece,” he said.
The situation was compounded last November when Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized government signed an accord on maritime boundaries.
Greece, Cyprus and Egypt denounced the agreement as “illegal” for infringing on their economic rights in the gas-rich Mediterranean Sea.
It prompted Egypt and Greece to sign a maritime demarcation deal in August.
El-Sisi on Wednesday praised the agreement with Greece as an example of what could be achieved when “international law and institutions were respected.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the Egypt-Greece agreement as worthless and vowed to keep in place his disputed pact with the Tripoli government.
He has also vowed to continue Turkey’s search for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean.
The row over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean saw NATO allies Greece and Turkey stage rival military drills in August.
At a summit this month, the European Union threatened sanctions if Turkey failed to stop what the bloc says is illegal drilling and energy exploration activities in waters claimed by Cyprus and Greece.


British Asian celebrities produce video to tackle coronavirus myths

 British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
Updated 25 min 20 sec ago

British Asian celebrities produce video to tackle coronavirus myths

 British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi are also included in the video

LONDON: British-Asian celebrities including cricketer Moeen Ali and comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Meera Syal have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine.

The video was organized by “Citizen Khan” creator Adil Ray, who said that he wanted to tackle falsehoods surrounding vaccinations for those from ethnic minority communities.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi are also included in the video.

Conspiracy theories and myths about coronavirus vaccines have caused concerns about uptake, particularly in the South Asian community.

“We all just feel we needed to do something,” Ray told the BBC.

He appears in the five-minute video with celebrities like former “Coronation Street” actress Shobna Gulati, who used her space in the clip to say: “We will find our way through this. And we will be united once again with our friends and our families. All we have to do is take the vaccination.”

Comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar, Asim Chaudhry and Ranganathan were on hand to debunk common coronavirus myths.

Ranganathan joked: “There’s no chip or tracker in the vaccine to keep watching where you go. Your mobile phone actually does a much better job of that.”

A recent poll commissioned by the Royal Society of Public Health showed that just 57 percent of black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) would be happy to receive a vaccine, compared with 79 percent of white Britons.

Dr. Harpreet Sood, an NHS doctor heading up an anti-discrimination effort, said fake news and myths were likely behind the worrying numbers for the BAME community.

The UK government has recently started to tackle the problem directly, with UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick arguing that faith leaders were crucial to vaccine uptake. His announcement came as he opened the UK’s first vaccination center in a mosque.

Jonathon Kitson, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, told Arab News: “Mass vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, and it is great to see people from all backgrounds working to dispel myths, fake news and conspiracy theories like this.”

He added: “The faster the rollout can take place, the sooner we can get back to normal.”

Sam Bowman, co-founder of a new myth-dispelling website called “Anti-Virus: The COVID-19 FAQ,” told Arab News: “It is absolutely vital that everyone realizes that the vaccine is a safe, effective ticket back to normal life. It will mean that people of all ages are safe to see each other again, and go back out to work and their old lives.”

He added: “It’s great to see this video correct the misinformation being promoted — anyone pushing an unscientific anti-vaccine lie needs to be publicly contradicted and exposed as the shysters they are.”