April 26, 2018 / 10:12 AM / 7 months ago

Greece will keep its cool to 'dangerous' Turkish provocations, PM says

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament in Athens, Greece April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece is remaining calm in the face of ‘dangerous provocations’ from Turkey, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday.

Tsipras, who was hosting EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Greece could play a central role in elevating the role of the 28-member bloc into a force for peace and security.

“We are proving that by being decisive and also calm in dealing with dangerous provocations in the Aegean by Turkey towards our sovereign rights,” Tsipras said.

The two NATO partners have long been at odds over issues ranging from airspace over the Aegean Sea to mineral rights in the same region, and ethnically-split Cyprus.

Rhetoric between the two has recently sharpened after the arrest of two Greek soldiers by Turkey, and Greece’s refusal to hand over eight Turkish commandos who fled to the country in the wake of an abortive coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.

Reporting By Michele Kambas

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