Greece accuses Turkey of holding FM’s plane that the latter firmly denies

On Thursday, Greece censured Turkey for purposely holding up a official aircraft carrying its Finance Minister Christos Staikouras back from Iraq, leaving it hovering for 20 minutes before allowing it to cross Turkish airspace.

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry representative Hami Aksoy reported in a statement that these claims are bogus. Greece had approached Turkey to give approval for the Finance Minister’s plane to travel to and from Iraq through Turkish airspace, Aksoy included.

He further stated that “The plane took off from Iraq without introducing a flight plan. At the point when the plane entered our air space, a flight plan was immediately requested from Iraqi officials, and the flight was securely completed after the order was initiated.”

Whereas, the Greek administration’s representative Stelios Petsas warned that the episode doesn’t happen again.

Pressures between the two NATO allies tightened in a dispute about maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean have been boiling in the midst of allegations and counter-allegations to marine regions wealthy in natural gas.

Greece and Turkey have disagreed twice in the course of recent weeks — first, when Turkey changed the famous 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque, and afterward over the opportunity to exploring hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Relations between the two countries have worsened this year. In February, Turkey had permitted a huge number of migrants to cross the border into Greece and the European Union, angering the latter.

The two nations are a part of the 30-member NATO coalition, and Turkey is officially a nominee for full membership of the EU, of which Greece is a part.

For a long time, Greece and Turkey have differed over rights on the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, which has exceptional gas and oil deposits. On July 21, Turkey reported that the drilling vessel Oruc Reis would explore a disputed section of the sea for natural gas and oil. Greece reacted by alerting its coastguards, navy, and air force.

The French President Emmanuel Macron showed support for Greece and stated that Turkey ought to be “sanctioned” for its infringement in the Aegean region. Following the mediation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey declared a week ago that it had ended the drilling operation and it’s ready to talk about the issue with Greece.

On Thursday, Germany, and France also blamed Turkey for continuing to incite the EU with its activities in the eastern Mediterranean and demanded an explanation of its positions in seven days.

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