Greece-France Deal Is 'Purely Defensive', FM Says, After Ankara Stated It Was Aimed Against Turkey

© REUTERS / POOLGreek Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and French Defence Minister Florence Parly look at a pen during the signing ceremony of a new defence deal at The Elysee Palace in Paris, France September 28, 2021.
Greek Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and French Defence Minister Florence Parly look at a pen during the signing ceremony of a new defence deal at The Elysee Palace in Paris, France September 28, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The defense agreement between Greece and France is not directed against other countries and Turkey's statements criticizing the deal are "completely unacceptable," Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Friday.
On Tuesday, Greece and France signed a major defense deal, under which Athens will purchase three French navy frigates. Additionally, the two countries committed to mutual assistance in case of an armed attack on either, including on the territories under Greek maritime jurisdiction. The move has drawn harsh criticism from Ankara, which accused Athens of violating international law and NATO interests, saying the deal was aimed against Turkey.
"If Turkey is bothered by these agreements, it can only mean that it sees itself as a potential aggressor," Dendias was quoted as saying by the Kathimerini newspaper following his meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
He further stressed that the deal with France was "purely defensive" and "not directed against anyone," as quoted in the report.
Dendias also noted that Greece signed a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates last year and called Turkey's claims "completely unacceptable."

"Greece's maximalist maritime jurisdiction area and national airspace claims are in contravention of international law. It is a vain dream for Greece to think that they can impose upon Turkey these claims, which are also questioned by the international community, by forming bilateral military alliances against Turkey, undermining NATO Alliance itself," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement on Friday.

The spokesman said that Greece is pursuing a "problematic policy" of armament, as well as isolation and alienation of Turkey, instead of cooperation, adding that such a policy "will threaten regional peace and stability."
In the summer of 2020, Turkey carried out seismic studies in the Eastern Mediterranean, which Greece considers to be its exclusive economic zone. The Greek armed forces were placed on high alert. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the two countries were on the brink of armed conflict three times in the summer of 2020, and a general mobilization of the Greek armed forces was carried out.
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