Türkiye “yet again completely distorts reality, in order to support its unilateral and baseless accusations,” said the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou in a written statement released on Wednesday.
Papaioannou responded to a press question on the statements of Tanju Bilgiç, his Turkish counterpart, who said on Wednesday that Greece aims to ‘cover up’ the incident at Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias’ arrival at the Tripoli airport – referred by the Turkish minister as Greece’s “latest scandal” in Libya – with the memorandum of understanding (MoU) Greece signed in Cairo on November 22 in the fields of Aeronautics and Maritime Search & Rescue.
As reported by Turkish media, Bilgiç added that search and rescue zones at sea are service areas for saving human lives, and that “these areas are not areas of sovereignty under international law.”
In this case, Papaioannou underlined, “the Turkish side is trying to equate a bilateral MoU – that was entered into with full respect for International Law and international rules – with unfounded and illegal unilateral objections that violate basic principles of International Law.”
Papaioannou added that while Türkiye is falsely accusing Greece, it continues to instrumentalize migration, “putting human lives at risk every day.” However, he noted, “it is Greece that makes every possible effort to save lives at sea.”
Tuesday’s signing of the Greece-Egypt MoU, said Papaioannou, “is part of this effort by Greece, as well as by Egypt.”
Therefore, “we reject these baseless Turkish objections, in their entirety,” he concluded.