During a telephone conversation, the Greek PM asked for the quick release of the junior army officers and their return to Greece. The two soldiers are under custody in Turkey awaiting trial for entering a Turkish military zone on the border with Greece. The two men claim they entered Turkey by accident due to a heavy snowstorm.
Earlier, the prime minister held an informal cabinet meeting where he stressed that the issue should be handled with caution so that Turkey does not exploit the issue. He said that Greece should not give the eastern neighbor the chance to turn a routine event into a major issue in its already provocative attitude.
The Greek PM and the UN secretary-general also discussed Turkey’s aggressive behavior regarding the Imia islets; that although belong to Greece, Ankara claims as its own. At the same time, they discussed Turkey’s intervention in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
The two men also discussed the naming issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the negotiations between Greece and its northern Balkan neighbor on the issue.