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)
Short Url
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.


World leaders welcome US transfer of power

World leaders welcome US transfer of power
Updated 20 January 2021

World leaders welcome US transfer of power

World leaders welcome US transfer of power

PARIS: Several world leaders said they were looking forward to Wednesday’s transfer of power in the United States, where Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as president after four turbulent years under Donald Trump.

President Hassan Rouhani did not miss the opportunity to hail the departure of “tyrant” Trump, with Tehran repeatedly calling on Washington to lift sanctions imposed over its nuclear drive.
Biden’s administration wants the United States back in the landmark Iran nuclear accord which Trump withdrew from, conditional on Tehran’s return to strict compliance.
A “tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” Rouhani said.
“We expect (the Biden administration) to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years.”

Top EU officials voiced relief that they would soon have a friend in the White House again.
“Let’s build a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America and for a better world,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council.
“This time-honored ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol will be a demonstration of the resilience of American democracy,” added European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“And the resounding proof that, once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”

NATO said it hoped to boost transatlantic ties under Biden.
“We look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden to further strengthen ties between the United States and Europe, as we face global challenges none of us can tackle alone,” the military alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was looking forward to “working closely” with Biden.
Johnson, who has faced criticism over his close relationship with Trump, cited a host of policy areas in which he hoped to collaborate with Biden.
“In our fight against COVID and across climate change, defense, security and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand in hand to achieve them,” he said in a statement.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for Russia and the United States to repair their strained ties.
“The current condition of relations between Russia and the United States is of great concern,” Gorbachev said in an interview with state-run news agency TASS.
“But this also means that something has to be done about it in order to normalize relations,” he said.
“We cannot fence ourselves off from each other.”