At the United Nations Security Council on Thursday night (12 August), Greece and Turkey accused each other of endangering peace in the eastern Mediterranean.
SCU Greek Foreign Minister Dimitri Bitsois speaking.
CU Turkish Ambassador Ilter Turkman speaking.
BITSIOS: "My mission is to denounce the activities of Turkey which jeopardise peace and security int he eastern Mediterranean and to ask the Council to call upon Turkey to cease them. Now, the facts: While consultations were still on with a view of finding the best way of solving our dispute on the continental shelf, Turkey, on August 6th, dispatched the research ship, Sismik I, into the Aegean in order to carry out seismic exploration of certain areas of the continental shelf that Greece is entitled to consider as belonging to her. Turkey made this decision cold-bloodedly and despite repeated warnings, both from us and from other parties, to the effect that the delineation of the continental shelf can best be achieved through peaceful procedures than through fait accomplis."
TURKMAN: "The recent military and naval harassment of the unarmed Turkish research vessel which has been conducting scientific and navel research outside the territorial waters of Greece in the very same manner as Greece has been doing for some years, is yet another case in point of the aggressive and irresponsible attitude of Greece. Greece, with a puzzling logic, seems to consider her allegations and claims over the yet undelineated Aegean as already acquired and established sovereign rights."
According to Reuters, observers at the United Nations could not recall another occasion when one member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) brought charges against an alliance partner in the Council Military source in Athens said Greece has put its armed forces on a war footing, moving almost the entire Air Force to advance bases. Greek warships have been shadowing Sismik I since it moved last week into a zone where Greece and Turkey have overlapping claims to the continental shelf. The Turkish research ship is continuing to take seismic soundings despite the Greek protests.
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Background: At the United Nations Security Council on Thursday night (12 August), Greece and Turkey accused each other of endangering peace in the eastern Mediterranean. The Security Council was meeting after a call from Greece to discuss alleged Turkish violations of its sovereignty by sending a vessel to search for oil in disputed areas of the Aegean. Here are both sides of the story as the Council is addressed first by Greek Foreign Minister Dimitri Bitsios and then by Turkish Ambassador Ilter turkman.